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As Fragile Gaza Cease-Fire Holds, Week of Anniversaries Poses Test for Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel –Sunday, May 14th, marked the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Israel, according to the Gregorian calendar. The date has become another battle in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The anniversary came just hours after a cease-fire ended a five-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The terror group fired more than 1,300 rockets into southern Israel, landing as far away as Tel Aviv and on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Israel attacked hundreds of rocket-launching sites, and the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system shot down about 90 percent of the rockets headed toward populated areas.

A few did get through, as in the city of Ashkelon. Two others died in differenct locations in separate rocket attacks.

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Many observers believe it is just a matter of time until another round of fighting will resume. 

Some expect it might come as early as Thursday, when Israelis will celebrate another anniversary – the reunification of the city of Jerusalem in 1967. Known as Jerusalem Day, it's marked by thousands of Israelis marching through the Old City of Jerusalem waving Israeli flags. Hamas has warned it will respond if the path of the march goes through the Muslim Quarter.

Monday, the United Nations – often the promoter of anti-Israel resolutions – will host the anniversary of the Nakba, or "catastrophe," instead of the anniversary of Israel’s founding.  The Nakba is what Palestinians say is their forcible eviction from the land of Palestine during Israel's War of Independence in 1948.

Israel's Ambassador the U.N., Gilad Erdan, blasted the decision.

“Instead of commemorating the real “Nakba,” the expulsion of nearly a million Jews from Arab countries following the establishment of Israel, this biased organization is distorting its own history," Erdan said.

He added, "I’m working to insure that member states understand that attending this despicable event means destroying any chance of peace by adopting the Palestinian narrative calling the establishment of the state of Israel a “disaster” while ignoring Palestinian hate, incitement, terror and refusal to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state.” 

Despite the controversy, Israeli commentator Gil Troy says the 75th anniversary marks a miraculous rebirth of the Jewish state after two thousand years.

“And if we think about the miracles of Israel, it's not just that Israel has survived despite so many enemies. It's not just that Israel has been a democracy. It's absorbed 3 million Jews from all over the world – White, Black, religious, secular – doesn't matter. They're all welcome. It has created a startup nation, which is generating all kinds of miracles for the 22nd century. So here we are … We look backwards, and we're rooted in a story of thousands of years, but we look forward and we're inventing the future. That's a miracle every single day," Troy noted.

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