Madonna kicks off world tour in Israel

Pop music star Madonna is kicking off her new world tour in front of tens of thousands of ecstatic fans in Israel.

The Material Girl is singing her biggest hits, both old and new, to a raucous crowd near Tel Aviv.

The pop diva, who follows a form of Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah, has long claimed a special bond with Israel. She draped herself in an Israeli flag during her last performance in Israel in 2009.

After Thursday's show near Tel Aviv, the "MDNA" tour moves to Abu Dhabi and includes stops in Istanbul, Cleveland and Buenos Aires.

Her last tour grossed more than $400 million.