Netanyahu waving old and new flags in Eilat

"Many eyes are raised today to the ink flag, which symbolizes the brave spirit of those who freed Eilat 72 years ago," the prime minister said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the annual commemoration marking 72 years to the liberation of the city of Eilat and the raising of the ink-flag, February 21, 2021.  (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the annual commemoration marking 72 years to the liberation of the city of Eilat and the raising of the ink-flag, February 21, 2021.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Eilat on Sunday in anticipation of the reopening of commerce. He took advantage of the opportunity to mark the 72 years since the Israeli flag was raised in the port city, in the victory of the War of Independence.
"Many eyes are raised today to the ink flag, which symbolizes the brave spirit of those who freed Eilat 72 years ago," said Netanyahu.
On March 10, 1949, at around 3:30 p.m., Avraham Adan, one of the company commanders of the Negev Brigade, hung up an ink-stained makeshift Israeli flag on the abandoned police headquarters in Eilat, effectively ending the War of Independence.
Avraham (Bren) Adan 521 (Credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)Avraham (Bren) Adan 521 (Credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)
The last time Netanyahu came to the commemorative ceremony was in 2017, Walla noted.  
Adan passed away in 2012 at the age of 86.
After expressing his excitement at being back in the city, the prime minister went on to relate the importance of getting vaccinated, especially with the wide availability of vaccines, and of businesses and schools reopening.
Within the next few days, Eilat is expected to return to its “green island” status where facilities are also allowed to operate restaurants. Starting Tuesday, Israir will organize a flight a day reserved for those who are entitled to the green passport – individuals who are a week past their second coronavirus vaccination or who have recovered from the disease.
Avraham (Bren) Adan 150 (Credit:  Jerusalem Post Archives)Avraham (Bren) Adan 150 (Credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)
Also on Sunday, Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash warned that if widespread gathering and celebrations on Purim lead to a new wave of infections, he won't hesitate to impose new restrictions, or even another lockdown, if it comes to that.
"Eilat is the southern gate of our state, facilitating flourishing relationships with India, Southeast Asia, and the Far East. This now includes new markets in our area," possibly referring to the Abraham Accords and the economic opportunities it brought to Israel and its new, closer partners in the Middle East.
"My friends, I believe that with all the challenges that the coronavirus has brought, Eilat has a bright future," he said.
"Once, when Avraham Adan, the ink-flag waver, was asked how he felt when he was doing it, he responded, 'I thought only of how to keep it up on the flagpole, so that it wouldn't slide down,'" Netanyahu concluded.  
Rossella Tercatin contributed to this report.