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Quiet Prevails in Jerusalem As Jews Throughout Israel Prepare to Greet New Year, 5709


The first New Year since the establishment of the state of Israel will be celebrated throughout the country as a virtual three-day holiday–the war situation permitting. From sundown tonight until sundown Tuesday, normal activities here will be at an almost complete standstill.

The Army extended special holiday leaves to all married man in order to allow them to spend Rosh Hashanah with their families. All available cantors have been mobilized to conduct New Year services in all military camps and installations.

In an order of the day issued over the week-end, Chief of the Israeli General Staff Yancov Dori declared: “The first New Year’s day to mark our political independence and national freedom will inaugurate a glorious and happy epoch in the annals of the Jewish people.”

In Jerusalem the New Year week-end began with the military situation so quiet that the Israeli Army–for the first time in a week–did not issue a daily communique. Desultory firing continued on some fronts, but most Jerusalem sectors could be described as deathly quiet. Last night, a twenty-minute air alert sent the city’s residents to safety shelters, but no incidents were reported.

Trucks laden with large quantities of foodstuffs arrived in the Holy City over the week-end in time for the holidays. They brought supplies of meat and groceries, which will be distributed in the form of extra holiday rations. Butcher shops were filled today with more meat supplies than they have had on hand for months.


An official communique revealed today that two Israeli fighters missing for two days have landed safely on the island of Rhodes and are expected to be permitted to return to their bases shortly.

The aircraft were ordered to land at the nearest available island in the Mediterranean after they developed engine trouble and just before radio contact with them was broken. A government spokesman said the planes were unarmed and denied a report that Dr. Scheib–allegedly a top Sternist leader who has been sought since the slaying of the late U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte–was aboard either of the planes.

A delegate claiming to represent the Marannos in Portugal arrived here today to discuss with religious leaders the question of arranging for the return of the “secret Jews” in the country to the fold of Judaism.

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