Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday praised the Israeli Defense Forces for "Landing a crushing blow" against Arab aggressors during a state memorial service honoring the dead of Israel's 1967 Six Day War.
"The wonderful, defensive war that we endured, the most just and moral war, afforded us a wealth of achievements. It proved to our enemies that we are not a nation of drifting sands," Netanyahu said at the ceremony held in Latrun, outside of Jerusalem. "You proved that our roots are planted here forever.... The war returned us to our land at whose heart is unified Jerusalem but above all, the Six Day War taught us a permanent lesson that is the headstone: Israel will defend itself by own in the face of every enemy, and against a cluster of enemies."
President Reuven Rivlin, who also spoke at the event said that nobody could question the justness of the war, but noted that its outcome has brought about a robust public debate in Israeli society.
"I have placed before us challenges that we are confronting to this day. Israel has changed its appearance. Israeli society has changed and the Israeli army has changed, but one thing has not changed: our obligation to defend ourselves on our own," Said the president.
Nearly 1,000 Israelis were killed and roughly 4,500 were injured in the 1967 war that saw Israel's army seize 5,900 square kilometres of the West Bank, the walled Old City of Jerusalem and more than two dozen Arab villages on the city's eastern flank. On other fronts it conquered the Golan Heights from Syria, and Sinai and the Gaza Strip from Egypt.