Remembrance Day ceremonies were held across Israel on Monday following a two-minute siren sounded at 11 am in honor of the country's fallen soldiers.Moshe Yaalon took the time to address the Iranian nuclear threat as well:
The number of Israelis who fell while in the line of duty stands at 23,085 on April 15.
"Look around you at the wonder called 'the State of Israel': Newly built Jerusalem, vibrant Tel Aviv, flourishing Haifa, the Negev and Galilee which are in a new momentum, and the whole State of Israel, which is a sun-lit island of stability and progress in a darkened, boiling, raging space," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the main State ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
"Our success has been achieved thanks to you, citizens of Israel. From the days of the founders, through the generations which have continued to build and create and until our own generation.
"Facing the amassed threats, the IDF is stronger than ever. We'll keep bolstering our defenses, keep hoping and acting to reach peace with our neighbors, and keep defending our country," the PM said.
"We'll always remember – the Day of Independence we celebrate annually was achieved thanks to our fighters – those who survived the battles and those who gave their lives. With tearful eyes and a proud heart, we salute the fallen, our beloved, the heroes of Israel," he said.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon honored Israel's fallen soldiers at a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv on Monday, saying that while Israel will always extend its hand for peace, it is forced into war by those who refuse to recognize the Jewish state's existence.Exactly. And it's a sad reality we're already facing.
"There are still more than a few groups that refuse to recognize our right to a national Jewish home in the land of Israel in whichever borders, and we are forced to fight back in order to defeat their intentions," Ya'alon stated.
Ya'alon said that over time, the threats against Israel had not lessened, but only changed.
"Terror attacks, firing rockets on the civilian population and the delegitimiazation campaign are challenges before us in recent years that will accompany us in the foreseeable future as well, forcing us to respond aggressively," he said.
Ya'alon also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat saying that, "a nuclear program of a state that praises hatred of Jews and the destruction of Israel is being given life as we speak. If it is not dealt with appropriately, it will threaten Israel, the Middle East and the whole world."
The defense minister added that the world must never "sweep the Iranian nuclear problem under the rug," because history has shown that a lack of perseverance on such matters is a recipe for future tragedy.