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For U.S. Forces, an Israeli Welcome

Reuters

Israelis gave a heroes’ welcome Monday to 7,000 U.S. servicemen and women stopping off in Israel on their way home from the Gulf War.

Sailors and Marines from five warships went ashore in Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city, where girls showered them with flowers and schoolchildren greeted them with red, white and blue balloons. A band played a medley of U.S. military tunes.

Mayor Arie Gurel raised a glass with American officers to honor the United States but said he regrets that Washington kept Israel out of the front line so as not to widen the conflict.

“For what you have experienced this time, we do owe you all our gratitude,” Gurel told the officers at city hall.

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The visiting Americans--whose ships are due back in the United States on April 20--were also thanked for Washington’s decision to rush in Scud-killing Patriot missiles and crews.


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