Israelis have begun celebrating their nation’s diamond anniversary with fireworks and public cheer. The Jewish state was founded shortly after World War II and has known almost constant conflict as well as remarkable growth in the decades since. Many Palestinians, who refer to the country’s founding as “the Catastrophe,” are preparing to mark the occasion with something less than delight.


Israelis thronged Jerusalem’s streets as fireworks opened the celebrations on Wednesday, while an aerial display is planned over Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Israel declared itself an independent state on 14 May 1948, three years after the end of World War II and the death of six million Jews in the Holocaust.

But Palestinians know the foundation day as al-Nakba, or “the Catastrophe”.

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Also, check out the BBC’s look at the 60th anniversary from the perspective of Israeli Arabs.


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