Israel city snaps its Jesus link

Jerusalem: An Israeli city often confused with its famous neighbour Nazareth, where Christians believe Jesus was raised, has changed its name in the hope of consolidating its separate identity. A poll of over ten thousand residents of Nazareth Illit (Upper Nazareth) overwhelmingly approved the proposal to rename the city Nof Hagalil (View of the Galilee), with Mayor Ronen Plot finalising the move in a festive Friday meeting.

The city had received governmental approval six months ago to go ahead with the change, with a committee selecting the name that won residents' approval, a municipal spokeswoman told AFP on Sunday. Nazareth Illit was established in the late 1950s, just three kilometres (about two miles) and a 10-minute drive from Nazareth, with its name meant to be a temporary fix. "The temporary name became permanent and caused total confusion," spokeswoman Orna Buhbut said, noting that every single mayor in the city's 62 years had attempted -- and failed -- to change it.

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