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Israel celebrates 67 years of independence with ceremonies, parties and fireworks


JERUSALEM — Israelis are celebrating 67 years of independence with fireworks, parties and ceremonies.

Festivities erupted Wednesday night after Israelis earlier in the day paused to remember fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

A nighttime ceremony in Jerusalem saw soldiers march and entertainers perform.

Lucy Aharish, a newscaster from Israel's Arab minority, was among those honored who lit ceremonial torches. She spoke emotionally about coexistence and read part of her speech in Arabic.

Actor Chaim Topol, of "Fiddler on the Roof" fame, will be honored Thursday.

Traditionally, Israelis flood into central streets in dance to celebrate their independence. Younger people sometimes spray shaving foam or tap passers-by with squeaky toy hammers. This year, chilly weather might affect turnout.

The holiday continues Thursday, with many attending barbecues or going on hikes.

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