Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Avi Peretz

PM: We owe independence to fallen troops

Netanyahu voices personal grief, calls for national unity on eve of Rememberance Day

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for national unity and voiced his personal grief at a ceremony commemorating Israel's fallen soldiers held in Jerusalem on the eve of Remembrance Day.


"For us, the bereaved families, time stood still the moment we received the terrible news," he said, referring to the loss of his brother, Yonatan Netanyahu, who was killed in action during Operation Entebbe in 1976. "A cruel sword cut our lives in two."


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The prime minister spoke at a service held at the Yad Lebanim memorial – a ceremony that launched the events planned nationwide for Israel's memorial day, officially known as Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day. Bereaved parents, political and religious figures were in attendance.

נתניהו בטקס ביד לבנים. "נזכר בחבריי לנשק" (צילום: עמוס בן גרשום, לע"מ)

Netanyahu at ceremony (Photo: GPO) 


"Each memorial day I think of my dear (brother) who had died, about my parents, who lost a beloved son, and my brother Ido who also lost his sibling," Netanyahu said. "Like many other citizens, I remember my comrades who have fallen.


"(…) When the siren sounds, we will all become one family," he added. "The citizens of Israel will unite in mourning and remembrance. They will bow their heads in gratitude to those who have sacrificed their lives to protect our people. Thanks to them, we were granted independence and the right to live safely in our country.”


'Our lands are under threat'

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who openened the ceremony, offered words of condolence to the bereaved parents in the audience, and noted the threats that Israel continues to face.

בית העלמין בהר הרצל. "עוד סיפור, עוד זיכרון מהבן שנפל" (צילום: EPA)

Mount Herzl Military Cemetery (Photo: EPA)


"Our lands are under constant threat," he said. "The war might not be the last. We need faith and strength of spirit."


On Wednesday, various memorial services are to be held, concluding with a torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl at 8 pm.




פרסום ראשון: 04.24.12, 19:44
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