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Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Southern Levant, West Asia. It is bordered by Lebanon and Syria to the north, the West Bank and Jordan to the east, Egypt, the Gaza Strip and the Red Sea to the south, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Tel Aviv is the country's financial, economic, and technological center. Israel's governmental seat is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, though recognition of Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is limited internationally.

Israel is in a region known historically as Canaan, Palestine, and the Holy Land. It was home to Canaanite city-states, then Israelite and Judahite kingdoms, and is referred to as the Land of Israel in Jewish tradition. Situated at a continental crossroad, the region was then ruled by various empires. Amid European antisemitism, the late 19th century saw the rise of Zionism, which sought a Jewish homeland, and received British support in World War I. British occupation led to the establishment of Mandatory Palestine in 1920. Jewish immigration, combined with British colonial policy, led to intercommunal conflict between Jews and Arabs and the 1947 UN Partition Plan triggered civil war between them. (Full article...)


The Levant (/ləˈvænt/ lə-VANT) is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of West Asia and core territory of the political term Middle East. In its narrowest sense, which is in use today in archaeology and other cultural contexts, it is equivalent to Cyprus and a stretch of land bordering the Mediterranean Sea in western Asia: i.e. the historical region of Syria ("Greater Syria"), which includes present-day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian territories and most of Turkey southwest of the middle Euphrates. Its overwhelming characteristic is that it represents the land bridge between Africa and Eurasia. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the Eastern Mediterranean with its islands; that is, it included all of the countries along the Eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece in Southern Europe to Cyrenaica, Eastern Libya in Northern Africa.

In the 13th and 14th centuries, the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Anatolia, Syria-Palestine, and Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt. The term entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the Sun in the east, and is broadly equivalent to the term al-Mashriq (Arabic: ٱلْمَشْرِق, [ʔal.maʃ.riq]), meaning "the eastern place, where the Sun rises". (Full article...)
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The Arza sanatorium, 1934

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Israeli breakfast — a distinctive style of breakfast that originates from the modern culture of the kibbutzim

Israeli cuisine primarily comprises dishes brought from the Jewish diaspora, and has more recently been defined by the development of a notable fusion cuisine characterized by the mixing of Jewish cuisine and Arab cuisine. It also blends together the culinary traditions of the various diaspora groups, namely those of Middle Eastern Jews with roots in Southwest Asia and North Africa, Sephardi Jews from Iberia, and Ashkenazi Jews from Central and Eastern Europe.

The country's cuisine also incorporates food and drinks traditionally included in other Middle Eastern cuisines (e.g., Iranian cuisine from Persian Jews and Turkish cuisine from Turkish Jews) as well as in Mediterranean cuisines, such that spices like za'atar and foods such as falafel, hummus, msabbaha, shakshouka, and couscous are now widely popular in Israel. However, the identification of Arab dishes as Israeli has led to accusations of cultural appropriation against Israel by Palestinians and other Arabs. (Full article...)

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A hamantash (pl.: hamantashen; also spelled hamantasch, hamantaschen; Yiddish: המן־טאַש homentash, pl.: המן־טאַשן homentashn, 'Haman pockets') is an Ashkenazi Jewish triangular filled-pocket pastry associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim. The name refers to Haman, the villain in the Purim story. In Hebrew, hamantashen are also known as אוזני המן (oznei Haman), meaning "Haman's ears". "Haman's ears" also refers to a Sephardic Purim pastry, "Orejas de Haman", thought to originate in Spain and Italy, that is made by frying twisted or rolled strips of dough.

Traditionally, the dough for hamantashen was made with yeast. With the invention of baking powder during the 1840s and its wide adoption during the first half of the twentieth century, baking powder supplanted yeast, and hamantashen dough became a cookie rather than pastry dough. To shape a hamantash, a filling is placed in the center of a circle of dough, which is then either folded in half and shaped into a triangle or the sides are brought to the center to form a triangle. The oldest and most traditional filling is mohn (poppy seed paste), with powidl or lekvar (prune jam) a close second. The cookie dough variety has spawned many different fillings, traditionally sweet (although savory varieties have become popular as well). Most popular are various jams, especially apricot and raspberry, but also date, raisins, apple, vanilla pastry cream with chocolate chips, cherry, fig, chocolate, dulce de leche, halva, caramel, or cheese. The dough varies from hard like shortbread to a soft yeast dough. (Full article...)

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12 June 2024 – Israel–Hamas war
Israel–Hezbollah conflict
Israel kills Taleb Abdullah, a senior commander of Hezbollah, which retaliates by launching 215 rockets towards northern Israel. (Times of Israel)
12 June 2024 – Impact of war on children
The United Nations has added the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces to its list of offenders for violating children’s rights along with Israel Defense Forces, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. (BBC)
11 June 2024 – Israel–Hamas war
Humanitarian aid during the Israel–Hamas war

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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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