Israel stops to remember its 24,068 fallen IDF soldiers and 4,217 victims of terrorism

May 4, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel came to a standstill on Tuesday night to mark Yom Hazikaron, its national Memorial Day, and to commemorate the 24,068 fallen IDF soldiers and 4,217 victims of terrorist attacks who have died since 1860.

The main ceremony at the Heroes’ Garden in Kiryat Ono. (Eitan Elhadz/TPS)

The solemn day commenced with a one-minute siren that was heard across the country and a ceremony at the Kotel, during which the nation’s flag was lowered to half-mast.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi spoke to the bereaved families at the main ceremony at the Western Wall plaza and said that “the vast majority of families in Israel waited for their children and received them in a hug at the end of their military service, but you waited in vain, and some of you are still waiting. They will not return, but thanks to them many returned. Thanks to them, the lives of tens of thousands of civilians were saved, and a large part of the security and achievements of the state is due to them.”

“In the term ‘Israel Defense Forces’ the word ‘for Israel’ is the purpose. We defend the right to life, and in its name endanger life, in order to enable all of us, as a nation, to exercise our right and duty to build a prosperous, worthy and full-of-life society,” he underscored.

At 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning, a two-minute siren sounded throughout the country, bringing the streets to a complete standstill.

Yom Hazikaron is one of the most solemn dates on the Israeli calendar. Radio and TV stations air documentaries about the fallen soldiers and terror victims.

An Israeli flag was placed on the graves of fallen soldiers in the 52 military cemeteries across the country for Memorial Day.

The figure of 24,068 fallen soldiers is counted from when Jews first began to settle outside of Jerusalem in the 1860s, including 56 fallen IDF officers and soldiers who died in the past year. The total includes 84 disabled IDF soldiers who died as a result of their disability and were recognized as fallen soldiers.

St.-Sgt.Omer Tabib, 21 of Moshav Elyakim was killed on May 12 during Operation Guardian of the Walls by an anti-tank missile fired at his vehicle from the Gaza Strip.

St.-Sgt. Barel Hadaria Shmueli, 21, was fatally wounded on August 30when a terrorist at him from point-blank range on the Gaza border.

Policeman Amir Khoury, 32, an Israeli-Christian, was of the five people killed during a shooting attack in Bnei Brak on March 29.

Israel commemorates this year 4,217 civilians who were murdered in acts of terrorism. 3,200 civilians perished in hostilities since the establishment of the state in 1948.

Since the last Tom HaZikaron,  33 civilians have been killed in hostilities. In Operation Guardian of the Walls last May, 19 civilians were killed, and 15 civilians were killed in a series of terrorist attacks in recent weeks.

Recently, the late Kadouri couple from Jerusalem who were murdered in their home by a terrorist was added to the list of victims after their murder was recently solved.

In addition, four victims of hostilities with severe disabilities who died in the past year and were added to the list of victims.

The last victim to join the list was Vyacheslav Golev, 23 from Bet Shemesh, who was shot dead by terrorists at the entrance to the city of Ariel in Samaria on Friday night.

Vyacheslav was the 15th Israeli to be murdered in a terrorist attack in recent weeks. Israel has experienced another four severe terror attacks in recent weeks. In the latest attack, a terrorist from Jenin shot and killed three Israelis in the heart of Tel Aviv. Before that, a terrorist from Yabed shot and killed five people in the city of Bnei Brak. In the second attack, two Islamist terrorists shot and killed two Israelis in the city of Hadera. In Be’er Sheva, a terrorist stabbed and murdered four Israelis. Jerusalem has been the scene of several attacks as well.

The first terror attack that the State of Israel officially commemorates took place in 1851, when Shlomo Zalman Tzoref, who promoted Jewish presence in Jerusalem, was murdered.

The terrorist attacks have left 3,218 orphans, including 122 orphans from both parents, hundreds of widows and widowers, and hundreds of bereaved parents who are still alive.

823 children and adolescents up to the age of 18 perished in terrorist attacks, and 231 families suffered multiple losses of more than one casualty per family.

The numbers include members of the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Service), the Mossad, the Israel Police, the Israel Prisons Service and the World War II Jewish Brigade, including 148 fallen soldiers who were also Holocaust survivors and soldiers who died from their disabilities suffered during combat.

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