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Israel (/ˈɪzri.əl, -r-/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל, romanizedYīsrāʾēl; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل, romanizedʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل, Dawlat ʾIsrāʾīl), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea, and shares borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the southwest; it is also bordered by the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, although Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.

Inhabited since the Middle Bronze Age by Canaanite tribes, the land held by present-day Israel was once the setting for much of Biblical history, beginning with the 9th-century Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah, which fell, respectively, to the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 720 BCE) and Neo-Babylonian Empire (586 BCE). Later rulers included the Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Empire, the Hasmonean dynasty, and, from 63 BCE, the Roman Republic and later Roman Empire. From the 5th century CE, it was part of the Byzantine Empire, up until the 7th century Rashidun Caliphate's conquest of the Levant. With the First Crusade of 1096–1099, Crusader states were established. Muslim rule was then restored in 1291 by the Mamluk Sultanate, which later ceded the territory to the Ottoman Empire. (Full article...)

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HaArbaa IMG 0541 (cropped).JPG

Jerusalem (/əˈrsələm/; Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם help=no; Arabic: القُدس help=no) is a city in Western Asia. Situated on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, it is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy for the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The city straddles the Green Line between Israel and the West Bank; both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital. Israel controls the entire city and maintains its primary governmental institutions there while the Palestinian National Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization ultimately foresee it as the seat of power for the State of Palestine. Due to this long-running dispute, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Throughout its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. During the Canaanite period (14th century BCE), Jerusalem was referred to as Urusalim on ancient Egyptian tablets, which probably referred to Shalim, a Canaanite deity. During the Israelite period, significant construction activities began throughout the city in the 9th century BCE (Iron Age II), and by the 8th century BCE, Jerusalem had developed into the religious and administrative centre of the Kingdom of Judah. In 70 CE, an unsuccessful Jewish revolt against the Romans resulted in the destruction of the city and the Second Temple. In 1538 CE, the surrounding city walls were rebuilt for a last time under Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire. Today, these walls define the Old City, which has traditionally been divided into four sections, individually known since the early 19th century as (going clockwise from the southeastern end): the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and has been on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 1982. Since 1860, Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising approximately 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews, and 300,000 Palestinian Arabs. In 2016, the city's population was 882,700, of which Jews comprised 536,600 (61%), Muslims comprised 319,800 (36%), Christians comprised 15,800 (2%), and unclassified subjects comprised 10,300 (1%). (Full article...)
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  • ... that in addition to founding Tmura, an anti-discrimination center that advocates for women's rights, Yifat Bitton was shortlisted for Israel's Supreme Court twice?
  • ... that hints of female discrimination in biblical times were discovered in an ancient Persian cemetery excavated from Tel Qiri in northern Israel?

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Israeli cuisine (Hebrew: המטבח הישראלי ha-mitbaḥ ha-yisra’eli) comprises both local dishes and dishes brought to Israel by Jews from the Diaspora. Since before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s, an Israeli Jewish fusion cuisine has developed.

Israeli cuisine has adopted, and continues to adapt, elements of various styles of Arab cuisine and diaspora Jewish cuisine, particularly the Mizrahi, Sephardic and Ashkenazi styles of cooking. It incorporates many foods traditionally included in other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, so that spices like za'atar and foods such as falafel, hummus, msabbha, shakshouka and couscous are now widely popular in Israel. (Full article...)

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Challah sprinkled with sesame seeds

Challah (/ˈxɑːlə/, Hebrew: חַלָּה ḥallā [χa'la] or [ħal'lɑ]; plural: challot, Challoth or challos) is a special bread of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, usually braided and typically eaten on ceremonial occasions such as Shabbat and major Jewish holidays (other than Passover). Ritually acceptable challah is made of dough from which a small portion has been set aside as an offering. Challah may also refer to the dough offering. Non-Religious Jews traditionally refer to bread on Shabbat as hallah.

The word is biblical in origin, though originally referred only to the dough offering. Similar braided breads such as kalach and vánočka are found across Eastern Europe. (Full article...)

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26 May 2022 – Iraq–Israel relations
The Iraqi parliament passes a law banning all attempts at normalizing relations with Israel. The law was introduced by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party won the most seats in the last election. (Reuters)
25 May 2022 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Clashes break out with the IDF after Palestinian rioters attack Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, West Bank. Fifteen Palestinians are injured and one teenager is killed. (Times of Israel)
Three Israelis are injured in a Palestinian stone-throwing attack in Huwara, West Bank. (Times of Israel)
24 May 2022 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict
An independent investigation by CNN, aided by a newly released video by fellow Al-Jazeera correspondent, points to murdered journalist Shireen Abu Akleh having been deliberately targeted by IDF soldiers. (CNN)

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  1. ^ Butcher, Tim. Sharon presses for fence across Sinai, Daily Telegraph, December 07, 2005.
  2. ^ cite web| title=11 Jan, 2010; from google (Israel–Egypt barrier construction began) result 8|url=https://www.rt.com/politics/israel-approves-democratic-barrier/}}
  3. ^ "November 22, 2010; from google (Israel–Egypt barrier construction began) result 10".
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