JERUSALEM (Dec. 11)
Israel had a foretaste of winter when a sudden storm unleashed gale force winds over most of the country last night accompanied by heavy rain and substantial snowfall in Jerusalem and other high-lying areas. There were countless accidents as motorists skidded on ice-coated roads and traffic jams developed in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem because signal lights were short-circuited by flooding.
Meanwhile, Army and Air Force helicopters Managed a spectacular off-shore rescue in the teeth of the gale last night. Some 80 foreign Laborers, most of them Italian, were air-lifted from two floating hastels that broke their moorings at Hadero and drifted helplessly in heavy seas. Many of the men were bruised and shaken but no serious injuries were reported. The hostels serve as sleeping quarters for laborers building a coal jetty for the new coal-fired electric power plant in Hadero.
The rain was welcomed by farmers because it ended a prolonged drought that threatened their crops. The snow came as a surprise for Jerusalemites. Although it occurs annually, it rarely snows before January and February when temperatures descend to the freezing point.