- Title: MIDDLE EAST: Solemn ceremony marks Israel's Memorial Day
- Date: 15th April 2013
- Summary: JERUSALEM (APRIL 15, 2013) (REUTERS) ISRAELI PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES AND ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ARRIVE FOR CEREMONY ON MOUNT HERZL SOLDIERS STANDING TO ATTENTION AS SIREN BEGINS SOLDIERS STANDING DURING SIREN VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE STANDING IN SILENCE DURING SIREN SOLDIERS SALUTING DURING SIREN PEOPLE AT CEREMONY YOUNG GIRL SITTING ON SOMEONE'S SHOULDERS NETANYAHU ADDRESSING THE CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "The life of our country is a wondrous thing, something that cannot be taken for granted. From the day of the birth of the state of Israel, many forces have tried to destroy it. They did not succeed in their plot, they will never be successful." PERES LAYING A WREATH NETANYAHU LAYING A WREATH CAULDRON OF FIRE ANOTHER WREATH BEING LAID SOLDIERS STANDING TO ATTENTION BY FIRE AUDIENCE SOLDIERS FIRING THEIR RIFLES
- Embargoed: 30th April 2013 13:00
- Location: Israel
- Country: Israel
- Topics: History,Politics,People
- Reuters ID: LVAEAENUKJ5RC8CDOW6UJ9CWY4UH
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- Story Text: Israel's President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a ceremony on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl on Monday (April 15), to mark Memorial Day.
The holiday honours soldiers killed in battle, as well as Israeli civilians killed in terror attacks.
The Israeli leaders laid wreaths to commemorate the deceased during the solemn ceremony, and soldiers fired into the air as a gun salute.
Speaking to the gathering of invited Israelis and members of the armed forces, the Prime Minister said that Israel had always been a target for attacks.
"The life of our country is a wondrous thing, something that cannot be taken for granted." Netanyahu said,"From the day of the birth of the state of Israel, many forces have tried to destroy it. They did not succeed in their plot, they will never be successful."
According to the Israeli foreign ministry website, a total of 22,867 men, women and children have been killed since 1860, the year when Jews first ventured outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City to build new Jewish neighbourhoods. The vast majority of the fallen are soldiers killed since Israel gained statehood in 1948.
Across the whole of Israel and in Jerusalem sirens rang out for two minutes at 1100 Local (0800GMT) so that people could stand still and remember their fellow country men who had been slain.
In central Tel Aviv and Jerusalem people dining in cafes stood up and cars on the road stopped as the drivers stepped out on to the road to pay their respects.
A series of memorial ceremonies will take place in Israel during Monday, but at sundown Israel will begin to celebrate its Independence Day holiday. The two holidays coincide with one another every year.
Security measures and checkpoint closures between the West Bank and Jerusalem were expected to remain in place until after Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday (April 16).
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