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THE EMBASSY OF ISRAEL, ANKARA Issue XXIV 30.12.2010

The End of the Year Statistics Israel's economy did better than expected, expanding by 4.5% this year, according to preliminary estimates. The average among the OECD nations is reportedly 2.7%. While living standards apparently contracted in most of the West, here an index tracking the standard of living increased by 2.7% in 2010, officials from the Central Bureau of Statistics stated at a press conference yesterday. Read more about the 2010 statistics from here.

Israel as a Natural Gas Exporting Nation An offshore natural gas reserve contains some 16 trillion cubic feet of gas worth an estimated $45 billion, an energy corporation which owns a share of the project said on Wednesday. Noble Energy Inc., which owns 39.66% of the prospect, said the massive store of natural gas in the “Leviathan” reserve – the largest of its kind discovered in the world in the last decade – “has the potential to position Israel as a naturalgas- exporting nation.” Read it all from here.

Desert Fish "There's plenty of fish in the sea," the old saying goes - but that's not as true as it once was. In fact, says Dotan Bar-Noy, CEO of Israel's GFA (Grow Fish Anywhere) Advanced Systems, there are fewer fish in the sea with each passing year. "Overfishing is a much bigger problem than people realize,

and in a few years, many species of salt water fish are simply going to disappear if something isn't done." Bar-Noy and 30 or so others - mostly engineers, marine biologists and other technical folk - have found a solution to the diminishing numbers of fish in the sea. To read more please click here.

An Israeli Building Houses in Izmir

Recovering From “National Trauma” Earlier this month, despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters, a fire ravaged through the Carmel in northern Israel, destroying more than four million trees and about 9,000 acres of the Carmel forest - Israel's most renowned. It was finally extinguished with the help of firefighters from more than 12 other countries. Israel's director of forest management, Israel Tauber refers to the fire as "a national trauma." Please click here to read more and here to watch.

Christians in Israel are Getting Prepared

Real estate mogul Yossi Avrahami is set to be the first Israeli to market housing to the Turkish middle class.

Palestinian and Israeli Christians are joining together with thousands of tourists to celebrate Christmas together in the Holy Land.

"The government there is very supportive of foreign initiatives, but Israelis know very well that they are better off collaborating with locals," Avrahami said. "I continue to seek investment opportunities there, but never overtly." To read more please click here.

In Ramallah, Santa Claus is on display in windows and stores all around the bustling city. Latin Patriarch Foud Twall wished all of Israel a “Merry Christmas.” and even went to the Gaza Strip, where he visited the enclave’s only Catholic Church! Check out some videos of Christians in Israel getting into the Christmas spirit, here!

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Newsletter 24