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Israel

A West Bank Wave Hits The Beaches Of Tel Aviv, A Palestinian Taste Of Summer Joy

Israeli authorities granted some one million visas to vacationers from the West Bank to cross the border during the recent Ramadan holiday. Some had never set foot in Israel before.

Palestinians from the West Bank enjoy the Mediterranean Sea during Ramadan, Tel Aviv, Aug. 11, 2013.
Palestinians from the West Bank enjoy the Mediterranean Sea during Ramadan, Tel Aviv, Aug. 11, 2013.
Serge Dumont

TEL AVIV — Tarek and Bassam, ages 18 and 20 respectively, are taking picture after picture of themselves on the beach of Tel Aviv. “And can you also take the full panorama behind me?” one of them asks. Like a million other Palestinians from the West Bank, they were granted visas to visit Israel this year for the end of the monthlong Muslim holiday Ramadan. And they were enjoying every second of it.

Tarek is from Nablus, a city in the northern West Bank. “I haven’t seen the sea since the second Intifada started in September 28, 2000, when I was just a kid. And after that, I never left the West Bank, except once to go and pray in Jerusalem,” he says. “It’s quite a shock being able to walk in the sand, dip your feet in the water and look out the horizon.”

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Firefighters work to put out the fire in a mall hit by a Russian missile strike

Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Officials fear the death toll will continue to climb after two Russian missiles hit the Armstor shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Kramenchuk. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, more than 1,000 people were inside the mall Monday at the time of the attack.

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For the moment, the death toll is at 18 with 36 people missing and at least 59 injured, reported a regional official on Tuesday. The search and rescue operations continue under the rubble.

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