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Wednesday
Apr172013

Israelis Celebrate Their Independence Day

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to President Obama and the American people following the Boston Marathon bombings, Israel on Tuesday celebrated its Independence Day.

It marks the occasion 65 years ago when the state of Israel was founded.  On the other hand, Palestinians regard it as Nakba Day or "Catastrophe Day" because they were forced to leave territories they occupied.

The conflict has existed ever since, with the Palestinians insisting on turning the West Bank into their own state while the Israelis maintain that peace can only be achieved through previous agreements with Palestinian leaders.

However, at least in Israel, Independence Day was celebrated with barbecues, a staple of Israeli leisure time, and gatherings in public parks.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu said of the bombings in Boston, "When it comes to events like this, all of us are one family.  We feel a part of the people who paid such a high price.  God bless them.  Today the real problem is terror, and terror is not an extension of policy.  Their policy is terror, their policy is to threaten."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio