Pictures of the Week: March 9 — March 16

Lightbox March 12, 2012
Menahem Kahana—AFP / Getty Images
March 12, 2012. Israeli soldiers watch as a missile is launched from the Iron Dome defence system in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva as a new round of violence between Gaza militants and Israel has ruptured the calm that was restored after a major flare-up last August.

From the conflict in Afghanistan and a tragic bus accident in Switzerland to Purim celebrations in Israel and the one-year anniversary of the Japanese tsunami, TIME’s photo department presents the best images of the week.

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The henna is a pre-nuptial cerimony celebrated in Moroccan or Yemenite families where the soon-to-be bride is dressed-up as a Queen with flowers and jewels and she is inivited to dance with her girl friends to say good-bye to celibacy and life as a single young girl. During the dance cerimony, the Kallah, the bride-to-be's hands and feet are painted with henne`, the red pouder from India. This welcomes fertility and happinesses within the marriage. Meah Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel. July 2012.

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