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Good News

Israel’s Citrus Exports Growing

March 21, 2005

The Israeli Plants Production and Marketing Board, which includes citrus, is optimistic about citrus exports this winter season. It predicts a 36% growth in exports, by volume, to 188,000 tons, and a 40% increase in value, to US $162 million.

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Children in Israel

March 21, 2005

Children aged 17 and under make up a third of Israel's population, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics reports. The numbers show that of the 2,253,800 Israelis under age 17, over a quarter (27%) are Arabs, while just under two-thirds are Jewish. This does not tell the full story, however. Nearly half the Arab population is under 17, while in the Jewish population, it's only 30.4%. Minor relief can be found in the fact that the proportion of children in other Western countries is said to be 18% to 26%.

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Tourists Rank Israel 4.2 out of 5

March 2, 2005

A Ministry of Tourism–sponsored survey says foreign visitors were satisfied with their stay in Israel. Some 80% described their stay in the country as “very good” or “excellent.” Former Tourism Minister Gideon Ezra says the survey proves that Israel is an attractive destination for travelers and that tourism is the fastest-growing sector of the economy.

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Intifada Casualties Down 44% in 2004

March 2, 2005

According to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) figures presented last December, the number of Israeli civilians killed in terror attacks and the number of troops killed in battle in the territories dropped by 44% in 2004, compared to the previous year’s figures.

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Tsunami Brings Israeli-Palestinian Friendship

March 2, 2005

The tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia brought an Israeli and a Palestinian couple together in the most trying of circumstances—on the roof of a truck, with floodwaters swirling around them.

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Israel’s New International Airport Opens

February 1, 2005

After years of delay, the new, ultramodern Terminal 3 at Ben-Gurion International Airport has opened. The terminal was built over a seven-year period at a cost in excess of US $900 million. Passengers will enjoy walking onto planes directly from the departure lounge, instead of the former system, which included walking down flights of stairs while carrying hand luggage, a bus ride to the plane, and then climbing stairs into the plane.

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Israel’s Population Stands at 6.8 Million

December 27, 2004

{image_1} On the eve of Rosh Hashanah this past September, Israel’s population was estimated at 6.8 million, consisting of 5.5 million Jews (81 percent) and 1.3 million Arabs.

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Prayer Rally at the Western Wall

December 27, 2004

{image_1} A prayer rally filled the Western Wall plaza on a Sunday afternoon in mid-September, with thousands of worshipers crying out for divine protection from terrorism and expulsion from parts of Israel. Psalms were sung in a responsive manner, with loudspeakers projecting the sound of King David’s poetry throughout the area.

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Israel Trade With Arab Countries Up

{image_1} The first three quarters of 2004 have seen almost a 50 percent increase in Israel’s trade with Arab countries. Despite the Oslo War, Israel’s economic relations with Arab states are apparently warming up. Israel’s trade with the Arab world rose a total of 47.4 percent so far in 2004 to US $169.7 million, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

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Viable Oil Strike in Israel

{image_1} For the first time in many years, a new, commercially viable oil well has been discovered in Israel. The Lapidot Oil Company recently concluded a drilling in Heletz, northeast of Sderot, and found a deposit of some 750,000 barrels of oil.

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