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Good Will Abounds on Independence Day

Independence Day events: Independence Hall, IDF bases and other places will be open free of charge, and IDF will hold naval and air shows.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/18/2010, 2:43 PM / Last Update: 4/18/2010, 2:50 PM

Independence Day festivities begin on Monday night and will continue through the next day. Independence Hall, IDF bases and other sites will be open to the public free of charge on Tuesday.

Independence Hall in Tel Aviv is where David Ben-Gurion declared on May 14, 1948, the 5th of Iyar, the establishment of the State of Israel. Tours in Hebrew, English or Spanish will begin every half-hour. English-language tours will be held at 10:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 14:30.

The building has been the site of several important events in the history of Tel Aviv and Israel. Tel Aviv’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, and his wife Tzina built and lived in the building; after Tzina died, and having no children, Meir later donated it for city use as a museum of arts. In 1936, the Tel Aviv Museum was opened there, and in 1948, the State of Israel was declared in a large, back room – felt to be safe from a feared Egyptian bombing attack. In 1972, after the Tel Aviv Museum moved to a new location, the Bible Museum was opened in the building, and in 1978, Independence Hall was re-enacted there and opened to the public.

IAF Shows and Bases
The Israel Air Force will hold a special aerial show above the coastline of Israel, while the Israel Navy will sail 12 ships down the coastline, as a salute to the State of Israel and its citizens. The ships will begin off the Carmel Coast of Haifa at 10:00, will pass Herzliya around noon, and will reach Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Asheklon at 13:00, 14:00, and 15:00, respectively.

In addition, cargo combat planes and helicopters, and other craft, will overfly various parts of Israel. Some IDF bases will be open to the public on Monday and Tuesday, including the naval bases in Eilat and Haifa, as well as Air Force bases in Ramat David, Tel Nof and elsewhere. Other bases will be open in Kiryat Shmonah, Nahariya, Maalot, Sderot, Netivot, Omer, Efrat, Kiryat Arba, Ariel, the Jordan Valley and more.

More Hiking Options
Some areas in which the IDF generally trains with live fire will be open on Independence Day for hiking, but permission must be received in advance from the army.

General Closure on PA Areas
A general closure has been imposed on all of Judea and Samaria from Saturday night at midnight until after Independence Day on Tuesday. Arabs of the Palestinian Authority will not be permitted to enter pre-1967 Israel, except for humanitarian, medical emergency or other exceptional cases. This has been the practice for many years for Jewish holidays, especially after holidays became a favorite date for terrorist attacks, such as the Passover Seder Night Massacre in the Park Hotel in 2002 and two murderous attacks, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, on Purim in 1996.