A total of 126 new names have been added to the list of Israel's fallen soldiers and terrorism victims who will be honored at this week's Remembrance Day events. Israel now has 10,524 bereaved families who have lost 22,993 loved ones. The families include 2,396 orphans and 4,992 widows.
On Sunday, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz will visit the graves of Israel's two latest fallen soldiers – Corporal Yehoshua Hefetz who died Wednesday during a military screening exercise, and First Lieutenant Hila Bezaleli who was killed on the same day after a lighting fixture collapsed in Mount Herzl during Independence Day ceremony rehearsals. The Bezaleli family is slated to attend the Mount Herzl service.
- Independence Day ceremony to go ahead
- Israel remembers Holocaust victims
- Barak announces new memorial
The Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day events will commence Tuesday at 4:30 pm in Jerusalem with a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and chief rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger.
A 1-minute siren be will heard at 8 pm followed by a ceremony at the Western Wall to be attended by President Shimon Peres and IDF chief Gantz.
Last year's memorial service in Mount Herzl (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
On Wednesday, a 2-minute siren will be heard as Israelis observe a second moment of silence, followed by numerous memorial services across the country. The state memorial service will be held in Mount Herzl.
On Sunday, the government is set to discuss a proposal to build a memorial hall in Mount Herzl for Israel's fallen soldiers at a cost of NIS 40 million ($10.65 million). The 18-meter tall hall is to be shaped as a torch which will burn all year long.
Thousands to visit cemeteries (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)
The Defense Ministry will carry 50% of the cost and will be responsible for overall maintenance, with the remaining costs being divided between the Prime Minister's Office, the Finance Ministry, Internal Security Ministry, the Strategic Affairs Ministry and the Intelligence Ministry.
"The construction of a memorial hall initiated by the Defense Ministry will allow the people of Israel to honor the memory of Israel's fallen all year long," Minister Ehud Barak said.
"The hall will commemorate all of Israel's fallen, some of which are not addressed in other monuments. It will also provide a solution to many bereaved parents who fear that after they pass away there will be no one to hold memorial services for their loved ones on the day of their passing."
Meanwhile, thousands of teenagers are set to take part in a special march from Yad Vashem to Mount Herzl in memory of 275 Holocaust survivors who died in battle in Israel after making aliyah from war-torn Europe. The project was initiated by the Defense Ministry.
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