Hungary Christians Host Israeli Teenagers Fleeing Rocket Attacks

Thursday, August 17, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife) -- A group of 18 teenagers from Israel's war-torn northern area and two adult companions arrived in the Hungarian capital Budapest Wednesday, August 16, for a nine-day holiday organized by the Hungarian Baptist Charity and Malev Hungarian Airlines.

In a statement distributed by Hungarian News Agency MTI Charity President Sandor Szenczy said the youths, aged 16 and 17, are from a kibbutz located eight kilometers (5 miles) from the Lebanese border which , he said, "was attacked by rockets" fired by fighters of the militant group Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.

Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky, who welcomed them at the capital's Ferihegy Airport, was quoted as saying that students from Lebanon would be expected to arrive from that country's devestated areas in the next few days.

The Israeli students will visit Hungary's Lake Balaton and the Danube River areas, see sights of Budapest and some western Hungarian towns, and meet representatives of Jewish groups, MTI reported.

With about 100,000 people, Hungary has Eastern Europe's largest Jewish community outside Russia. About 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Second World War when the country was for the most part a close ally of Nazi-Germany.

In recent years, the government and some churches have made attempts to reach out to the Jewish community as part of efforts to heal the wounds of history.

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