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Israel Says Farewell to Regev and Goldwasser: Thousands at Burials of Returned Israeli Soldiers

Thousands of mourners turned out for the burials of two Israeli soldiers returned in a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, laying to rest the young men whose unknown fate had riveted Israel for two years. The pair's 2006 capture in a raid by Hezbollah sparked a month long war. Though officials believed the two soldiers were dead, there was no proof until their bodies were returned in black coffins.

ISRAEL CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

Festivities began May 8th, at the end of Yom Hazikaon, the solemn, 24-hour day of mourning for the more than 20,000 soldiers and civilians killed in fighting that preceded and followed Israel 's creation. Mostly, Israelis celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut by going to parks and picnic sites. Nature reserves, picnic sites, and museums were open to the public and the IDF opened selected bases to the public.

ISRAEL BRINGS IN DIGNITARIES FOR ITS 60TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Israel's President, Shimon Peres, announced that a May conference marking its 60th birthday will open with a tribute to Israel's staunchest ally, the United States. In attendance will be President Bush and Barbra Streisand. "After 60 years we want to stand up and say 'thank you America,'" Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview with The Associated Press.

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