Just when you thought Israel's sublime beaches couldn't get any better - the country has joined an international flag scheme that recognises their safety and accessibility.
Hygiene-conscious tourists on family holidays already look for the big Blue Flag when booking beach holidays.
Now they can trust nine Israeli beaches to meet the international standards developed by the 30-year-old Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
All beaches must meet internationally stipulated standards to fly a Blue Flag.
This standard ensures several safeguards, including environmental checks, safe and clean water, a free-to-access beach, available public transport, disabled access, and recycling bins.
Travellers on city breaks to Netanya can reassure themselves that the destination has three beaches with a Blue Flag: Ha'onot Beach, Sironit Beach, and Poleg Beach.
Ashdod has two such beaches: The Lido Beach and the Yud Aleph Beach.
Tel Aviv also boasts two Blue Flag beaches: Metzitzim and Jerusalem Beach, so popular among walkers, who find it beautiful, accessible and friendly.
Haifa and Eilat have one Blue Flag beach each.
Orly Babitsky, from marine education group EcoOcean, said: "More than 70% of the Israeli population is living next to the coast and the beach has become one of the last places that a family can go without having to pay for a family day out."
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