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Marking Israel's 63rd anniversary in an Albanian synagogue
Albania–Israel relations refers to the diplomatic and cultural ties between Albania and Israel. Diplomatic relations between the countries were established on August 20, 1991. Albania has recognized Israel as a state since 1949.1 Albania maintains an embassy in Tel-Aviv and Israel has an embassy in Tirana.2
Albania was the only European country occupied by the Axis powers of World War II that ended World War II with a larger Jewish population than before the War.345
Only one Jewish family was deported and killed during the Nazi occupation of Albania.6 Not only did the Albanians protect their own Jews, but they provided refuge for Jews from neighboring countries.7 The Albanians refused to comply and hand over lists of Jews. Instead they provided the Jewish families with forged documents and helped them disperse in the Albanian population.8 Some 1,200 Jewish residents and refugees from other Balkan countries were hidden by Albanian families during World War II, according to official records.9
In 1999, Israel took in Kosovar Albanian refugees from the Kosovo War, providing them with medical care, food and accommodation.10