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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Israel observes Remembrance Day

Peres: Israel's fallen paved the way to peace

Israel observes one minute of silence in memory of fallen soldiers, terror victims.
 In Western Wall Remembrance Day ceremony President Shimon Peres says Israel
 stronger than ever, IDF chief Benny Gantz discusses threats on all fronts
Yair Altman
Published: 05.08.11, 21:07 / Israel News

Israelis observed a moment of silence on Sunday in memory of 22,867 fallen soldiers and victims 
of terrorism. President Shimon Peres, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz and representatives of the bereaved
 families attended a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Remember the fallen (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"Israel today is stronger than ever," Peres said. He opened his speech by addressing the Six Day War.
He stressed that Israel will not waive the chance to secure real peace adding that "should one opportunity fail, we shall seek another one."
"An Arab voice is being heard in our region calling for liberation and democracy and we wish them success."
The president further added: "One day hostility will end and we shall live as neighbors. One day we shall know that they (the fallen) not only defended our lives but were the ones who paved the way to peace. They are both heroes of war and bearers of peace. We cherish the IDF, our beloved army with its soldiers, and fallen (men and women).

Memorial Day ceremony at Western Wall (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"We shall not rest until all our captive and missing soldiers will return home. We shall not rest until we see Gilad Shalit safe and sound here with us."

'Highest moral standards'

IDF chief Gantz discussed the repeated attempts to besmirch Israeli soldiers' morals. "We have proven to the world in dozens of operations that our soldiers and commanders hold dear the values of purity of arms and the highest moral standards. These operational and moral norms were set by commanders and soldiers who decided to make persistence the primary value and devoted themselves to upholding the norms."
Gantz also addressed unrest in the Middle East. "The events which erupted out of repression and desperation raise signs of hope but also undermine stability and add possible threats to the State of Israel. The IDF must therefore be ready to address a growing variety of challenges in every front and possibly all fronts."
He mentioned warriors who showed exemplary courage and fortitude. "Such were Golani soldiers who boldly stormed the Beaufort in the 1982 Lebanon War.",7340,L-4066336,00.html