Israeli soldiers salute as they stand next to graves of fallen soldiers at Mt. Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel remembers its 23,447 casualties of war and terrorism on Tuesday evening as the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism begins with a minute-long siren at 8 p.m.
The Defense Ministry said there were 68 casualties in the past year, and 58 disabled IDF veterans died of their wounds.
According to the Defense Ministry, there are 16,307 bereaved relatives in Israel today, including 9,442 families, 4,917 war widows and 1,948 orphans up to 30 years of age.
A ceremony was held at Beit Yad Labanim in Jerusalem at 4:30 p.m. earlier Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the director-general of the Defense Ministry, the Knesset chairman and Israel’s chief rabbis.
At the Western Wall, President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot lead the lighting of the memorial candle ceremony at 8 p.m.
A two-minute siren will wail nationwide at 11 a.m. Wednesday, marking the start of memorial ceremonies at the country’s 52 military cemeteries.
The official state memorial ceremony will be held begin at that hour at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, led by Rivlin, Netanyahu and Eisenkot. At the same time, the Kiryat Shaul military ceremony in Tel Aviv will host a memorial event led by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
At 1 p.m., Rivlin and Eisenkot will lead a memorial ceremony at Mount Herzl honoring the victims of terrorism.
The Defense Ministry expects some 1.5 million Israelis to visit military cemeteries across the country throughout Wednesday.
Magen David Adom will station 132 ambulances at the graveyards.