April 16 - Israel celebrates 65 years as an independent nation with ceremonies and family festivities in Jerusalem. Jessica Gray reports.
Israel celebrated its 65th anniversary as an independent nation with a concert and other family festivities in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other politicians marked the occasion, while the Israeli army held military displays and marches. For residents, the day is about spending time with family and celebrating the establishing of the Jewish state. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HILA, RESIDENT OF JERUSALEM, SAYING: "The 65 independent day for Israel it's a very happy day for us. We all come here to celebrate with barbecue and all the family. And I wish that the next independent day we are going to have peace with all the world." The country was founded in 1948, based on Jewish claims to biblical land and as a haven for survivors of European persecution that culminated in the Nazi Holocaust. But while Israelis were celebrating, in East Jerusalem the distribution of Palestinian flags resulted in minor scuffles with authorities. Israel's creation resulted in around 700,000 Palestinians fleeing or being driven from their homes.