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Madonna touches down in Israel at start of world tour

May 26, 2012

Madonna arrives at Macy's Herald Square in New York. Israelis are gearing up to get down at Madonna's show as the pop diva landed in the holy land Friday, May 25, 2012 ahead of her world tour which kicks off here next week. — AP Photo

JERUSALEM: International music icon Madonna arrived in Israel on Friday to kick off her hotly anticipated world tour with a sold-out performance in Tel Aviv.

She arrived amid tight security on a chartered El Al flight from New York, accompanied by partner Brahim Zaibat, her four children and an entourage of 70, local media reported.

Thursday's Tel Aviv show is the first of 84 dates across Europe and the Americas, according to her website.They are to be followed by a visit to Australia, where Madonna has not appeared in 20 years, it said.

The tour - Madonna's first since her wildly successful “Sticky and Sweet”outing in 2008 and 2009 - will support her new album “MDNA.”She last performed in Israel in 2009, on the Sticky and Sweet tour.

During that visit she met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visited the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray.

She visited Israel in 2004 and 2007 on private trips.