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The Jerusalem Municipality opens the first urban nature park of its kind in Israel - a kind of nature reserve in the middle of the city - complete with a herd of gazelles and dozens of varieties of other fauna and flora, ponds, streams, walking trails and bicycle paths.

 

The Jerusalem Municipality is currently putting the finishing touches on the first nature park of its kind in Israel. Slated to open at the end of this month, Gazelle Valley stretches over 250 dunams, and features five ponds, both natural and manmade, two flowing streams, bird and rodent watching areas, the natural habitat of untamed animals, a manmade island accessed via wooden bridges, and the park's namesakes - dozens of wild gazelles roaming free.

 

The completion of the park is an unprecedented victory for the municipality and the public over the real estate tycoons who sought to build high-rises on the land. The park will soon be open to the public, seven days a week with free admission - as of Monday, March 30.

 

The new city park represents an innovative urban approach of open spaces located in the heart of the city, such as Central Park in New York, Hampstead Heath in London, and Parc St. Jacques in France. This approach, applied nowhere else in Israel, stresses the importance of creating a green lung composed of natural greenery and hosting a variety of animals and birds capable of living in the heart of an urban environment, to be enjoyed by city residents as well as visitors from Israel and abroad.

 

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said: "The park's guiding principle is revolutionary in terms of Israeli urban public spaces - a nature reserve in the middle of Jerusalem. Gazelle Valley is one of the biggest and most important Jerusalem projects in recent years, representing above all community involvement in the city and the power of joint brainstorming and planning by City Hall and residents. For us, the Gazelle Valley project represents the direction in which we want to take the city: developing Jerusalem's green spaces together and in partnership with the community and with the backing of many municipal entities working to enhance the environment and protect Jerusalem's natural assets."

 

In fact, over the years, the park, located in the city's southwestern corner at the foot of Highway 50 (Begin Boulevard) and Pat Junction, became a symbol of the public and civil struggle for open spaces in the city. In the past, the grounds were home to many fruit orchards, but in the 1980s these were abandoned and the location acquired a new identity: it became known as “gazelle valley” for the herd of gazelles that inhabited the site. Over the years, the herd became trapped among busy highways, the Malha Mall and various residential projects, with no habitat left. Because of harm caused by human agents and stray dogs, the herd shrank to only five gazelles.

 

As the herd was dying off, real estate developers "discovered" the spot and applied for permission to build more high-rises there. In an unprecedented move, various segments of Jerusalem's population united - religious and secular, old-timers and new immigrants, members of the entire span of the political spectrum - with the help of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and other environmental organizations and social activists, and began a persistent fight against planning and zoning authorities to establish an urban nature park in the valley. Six years ago, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat joined the residents' struggle, and it was decided to establish the first urban nature park of its type in Israel.

 

Landscape architects from Israel and abroad paved walking trails and bicycle paths, built a wading pool for young children, and set aside shaded spots perfect for observing nature. In the future, the park will also feature an orchard and a farm pond as well as an educational center devoted to the mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella), which is native to this part of the Middle East, and will be home to the Jerusalem Center for Urban Nature. Gazelle Valley will also be part of the Jerusalem Municipality's master plan, featuring bicycle paths that will go all around the park and link up with two already existing bicycle paths running along Sacher Park and Mesila Park. At a future date, a wooden promenade will be built above Gazelle Valley and link the park to the surrounding neighborhoods.

 

The fully accessible park will be open to the public all week long and will charge no admission. At the entrance, it will be possible to borrow binoculars, deck chairs and mats. In the future, it will be possible to buy ready-to-eat picnic baskets as well. It will offer guided tours, educational activities on topics of the environment and sustainability for school children, communal Friday evening Sabbath services, small chamber music concerts played by local ensembles, and more.

 

The park is being built by the Jerusalem Municipality with help from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Jerusalem Foundation.

 

Gazelle Valley Urban Wildlife Park in Jerusalem
Copyright: Jerusalem Municipality

 

 

 

 

 

Over 60 leading women from across the world joined together last month for a panel discussion showcasing Israeli females in the lead.
Organized by The Israel Project (TIP) and the Embassy of Cyprus in Israel, the event served as a platform to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities facing women in Israeli society in the modern age.
Among the panelists were popular journalist Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. Former IDF commander Miri Eisin and Israeli Olympic athlete Maayan Davidovich.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Thursday, 15 June 2017), in Thessaloniki, at the third trilateral summit, signed joint statements for the continued strengthening of relations.

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A senior delegation from Tanzania, headed by Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Permanent Secretary Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, arrived in Israel for a series of meetings and events designed to increase cooperation with the Israeli tourist industry, and encourage Israeli tourism and investments to enchanted, exotic Tanzania.

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At a festive ceremony attended by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the Lauder Dormitory Building was inaugurated today at the Technion
state of the art building was donated to the Technion by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and his wife Jo Carole

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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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On Wednesday evening, June 7th, the Embassy of Slovenia in Tel Aviv celebrated 26 years of independence, and 25 years of bilateral relations with Israel. The commemoration was held at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa. The event was timed to coincide with visits by both the Minister of Education, Science and Sport Dr. Maja Makovec Brencic, and a high-level parliamentary delegation led by National Assembly President Dr. Milan Brglez.

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

Friday was a beautiful late spring day; the gardens were lovely, the weather was fine; the guests were elegantly attired; the refreshments were generous and delicious; all the makings of a happy celebration marking the National Day of Sweden. H.E. Carl Magnus Nesser, ambassador of Sweden to the State of Israel, hosted the event at the ambassadorial residence in Herzlia Pituach.

The event was attended by many Swedish nationals living in Israel; Swedish music, Swedish food, Swedish sponsors and a generous open bar – all the makings of a happy event.

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A fundamentally agricultural holiday, Shavuot commemorates the custom of bringing offerings to the Holy Temple from the first fruits of the harvest and the first animals born to the flocks.

Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks, is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Pesach and Sukkot. These are the holidays on which the whole Jewish people would come to Jerusalem​ in ancient times, when the Holy Temple was there, and would offer animal and grain sacrifices.

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Tel Aviv Eat presents three evenings of tastings and workshops featuring the region’s leading restaurants and most prominent chefs. Entrance is free (including the chefs’ demonstrations), and tasting portions range in price from NIS 20-35. Doors open each evening at 18.00. There are several performance stages, live music, and stands selling beer.

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"Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who had endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust, only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating." President Donald J. Trump

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The Charles Bronfman Auditorium at Habima Square is one of the centerpieces of the Israeli arts and cultural scene, home to the Israel Philharmonic for the last 60 years. On Friday, May 19th, it was home to yet another historic event, with the dedication of the entrance hall to Miri Shitrit of blessed memory.

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President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin today, (Monday), welcomed President of the United States Donald J. Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump on arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and then at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

On his arrival at the President’s Residence, President Trump signed the official guest book and wrote, “It is such a great honor to be in Israel and be with all of my great friends”.

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  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Monday, 22 May 2017), at Ben-Gurion International Airport, welcomed US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania with an honor guard.

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President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday , at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, received the diplomatic credentials of the new Ambassadors to Israel from Thailand and Spain. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, and - after the presentation of the credentials - the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel's national anthem 'Hatikva'.

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JPost.com - Breaking News

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