Netanyahu: Israel is here thanks to fallen soldiers

On eve of Remembrance Day, PM, Ya'alon pay tribute to fallen, say Israel aspires for peace, but will strengthen security.

April 14, 2013 11:42
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at weekly cabinet meeting, February 3, 2013.

Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, the eve of Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars, stating that, "We are here thanks to those who fell on behalf of Israel."

Netanyahu said Israel would continue to aspire for peace, but would also strengthen its security to ensure the future of the country.

"Today threats against the country are greater than in the past, but the IDF and security forces are also stronger," he added.

Millions of Israelis will mark Remembrance Day on Sunday evening, and pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the country’s defense.

A minute-long siren will ring out across the country at 8 p.m. on Sunday, and a two minute siren will be heard on Monday at 11 a.m.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz will join President Shimon Peres for a candle-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall on Sunday evening.

On Monday, the official state memorial ceremony will commence at 11 a.m. at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Peres and Gantz will be in attendance.

Israel, including the pre-state yishuv, has lost 25,578 casualties to war and terrorism since 1860, according to figures released by the Defense Ministry.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon referred to the families of Israel's fallen soldiers as "a symbol of the perseverance of the Israeli society" in a statement released ahead of Remembrance Day on Sunday.

"This evening and tomorrow we will go to the cemeteries with great pain and sorrow in memorial ceremonies. We will stand there with the unparalleled strength and self-sacrifice which serve as the basis for the existence of this country," Ya'alon stated.

Ya'alon added that, with their deaths, Israel's fallen soldiers had granted Israel the right to fight for its existence. "The struggle, unfortunately, has still not ended. It changes its face, takes a different form, opens up on different fronts and forces us to fight each time anew and sacrifice the best of our sons and daughters."

Also on Monday, more than 1.5 million Israelis are expected to visit military cemeteries, and the Defense Ministry has organized hundreds of buses to transport people.

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