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Israel’s First-Responders Form Kaleidoscope of Cultures

An unusual hug caused thunderous applause at a recent Knesset ceremony saluting Israel’s emergency medical first-responders and search-and-rescue personnel. Parliamentarian Yehudah Glick, who survived an Arab shooting attack two years ago, spontaneously climbed onto the podium to embrace Kabahah Muawhiya, an Arab-Israeli volunteer EMT with the national volunteer emergency medical services organization, United Hatzalah of Israel. “United Hatzalah is not just about emergency first response and medical rescuing, but it is literally uniting people from different walks of life and different religions,” Muawhiya told Israeli lawmakers. “It is a uniting of peoples and a unity of hearts.”

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Israel, Turkey Announce Reconciliation Deal

Israel and Turkey announced a reconciliation deal that both sides claim will normalize relations that were ruptured more than six years ago when Israeli commandos seized a Gaza-bound Turkish ship, killing nine Turkish activists in the ensuing melee. The accord should put to rest years of hostility that began with Israel’s December 2008 Cast Lead incursion into Gaza and culminated in the May 2010 raid on the Mavi Mar-mara, part of a flotilla that aimed to bust Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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