Netanyahu: Israel will continue to thrive as long as we continue to defend it from every front

PM speaks at Mt. Herzl military cemetery to families of fallen soldiers; Torch-lighting ceremony to be held ahead of Independence Day

Netanyahu during two-minutes of silence on Mt. Herzl (Gil Yohanan)

Netanyahu during two-minutes of silence on Mt. Herzl (Gil Yohanan)

Prime Minister Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Gadi Eizenkot attended a memorial service on Israel’s national military cemetery Mt. Herzl Wednesday afternoon following two-minute sirens across the State of Israel, commemorating Israel’s 23, 320 fallen.

The ceremony, attended by thousands, came just a few hours before Israel will begin to celebrate her independence. Each year, since 1959, a national memorial service is held at the military cemetery where families of fallen soldiers share stories and remember the fallen.

Netanyahu spoke of Israel’s continued strength amidst constant struggle, stating, “Israel will continue to thrive as long as we continue to defend it from every front. I am sure we will successfully deal with every challenge, until we get to safety, until our region will change, but it could be a long process. We must continue to move forward.”

He spoke of his brother, Yonatan Netanyahu, who was killed during Operation Entebbe in Uganda in 1976. He stated, “Bereaved families speak of the knock at the door by the messengers who crushed their lives. I was the one who knocked on my parents door. It was the worst moment in my life…. Just as an IDF widow said with a refined clarity last night – our enemies must know that they cannot break us. Despite the pain, we will continue to protect our nation. We will stay here.”

At 8:00 PM a torch lighting ceremony will occur on Mt. Herzl, marking the end of mourning and beginning of celebration of Israel’s 67 years since its creation.