- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Israel remembers its dead ahead of 60th anniversary

TEL AVIV, May 7 (RIA Novosti) - Israel paid tribute on Wednesday to the more than 22,000 killed in wars and terrorist attacks since the Jewish state was created as part of its 60th anniversary.

"The siren sounded across the country and the clock of life in Israel stopped for one minute," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in his opening speech at the Remembrance Day ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Israelis honor its 22,437 dead soldiers and civilians, who died fighting in the country's many wars, terrorist attacks and in fighting prior to independence - Israel calculates the victims from 1860, when Jews first began immigrating to the region in the modern sense.

"Year after year we promise and pray that this will be the final victim, and then we return and with heavy hearts engrave another name on the monuments of the slain," he said.

"Our entire national existence... depends on our willingness and ability to defend ourselves... to battle the enemy," the Israeli leader said. "Peace and not war is our ends and the thing we long for."

Remembrance Day ends at nightfall on Wednesday, and is immediately followed by the 60th Independence Day celebrations.

Israel declared independence May 14, 1948, but marks the day according to the Jewish calendar.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала