Israelis flock to the North, first time since the war

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

Israelis flooded tourist sites in the north during the Passover holiday for the first time since the war in Lebanon this past summer.

“As far as I'm concerned, only now has the Second Lebanon War ended,” said Avshalom Zadok, the head of the Manara Cliffs tourist attraction in the Upper Galilee.

The site, which was severely damaged by rockets during the war, is not completely repaired, but the cable car has been fixed, costing nearly $2 million.

There were between 2,500-3,000 visitors a day during the holiday period. The tourists included ultra-Orthodox, Druse and Arab vacationers as well as a number of other Israelis.

Despite light rains and gray skies, tourist sites, hotels and restaurants were packed between the Galilee and the Golan Heights. Hotel occupancy was up 85 to 90 percent nationwide despite the decrease in foreign tourists.

An expected 41,000 people are expected to pass through Ben Gurion airport on Thursday and a total of 470,000 throughout the entire two-week holiday season. This comes at a six percent increase from the previous year.

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