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Rain Mars Opening of Tourist Season at Normally Dry Eilat

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Eilat’s week-long celebration to mark the opening of its winter tourist season got off to a damp start Sunday. The normally dry resort town on the eastern extremity of the Red Sea was busy cleaning up and repairing damage caused by a sudden cloudburst which dumped an inch of rain in one hour last Friday. As a result, hotels operated at only half of capacity.

Meanwhile, El Al’s plans to inaugurate direct tourist flights from European cities to Eilat — the “Sun Line” — were marred by a strike of ground crews who are demanding extra pay to service the planes at Eilat. El Al began the new service, but its passengers from Europe had to be landed at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv and transferred to smaller planes of Arkia, Israel’s domestic carrier, for the flight to Eilat.

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