As the War Drags On, Israel Marks Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism

Over 1500 Israelis have been killed since October 7th, 2023

As the War Drags On, Israel Marks Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism

Israeli soldiers gather near the graves of soldiers who have fallen since October 7th, at Mount Herzl military cemetery, Jerusalem May 12, 2024. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

25,034 men, women, and children have been killed in terrorist attacks and defense of the Land of Israel since 1860 – the year that the first Jewish settlers left the secure walls of Jerusalem to build new Jewish neighborhoods. This, according to data published by the Ministry of Defense.

Since Memorial Day 2023, 760 new names have been added to the roster of those who died defending the country. Another 61 disabled veterans died due to complications from injuries sustained during their service. 

In addition, 834 civilians were killed in terrorist attacks over the past year. In the October 7 massacre and the ensuing Swords of Iron War, 711 members of the security forces and 822 Israeli and foreign civilians were killed.   

As the war in Gaza and northern Israel drags on with no end in sight, soldiers are killed and injured in battle almost every day, tens of thousands of Israeli citizens are displaced people in their own land, and 132 hostages are still rotting in Gaza with no apparent plan for their release – this year’s Memorial Day is arguably the most difficult one yet. 

On Saturday night, over 30 people – including family members of hostages - were arrested by the police during a protest held in Tel Aviv demanding the return of the hostages and new elections. 

Speaking at the official memorial ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem this morning, PM Netanyahu said that Israel will complete the goals of the war, including the return of the hostages, but that the exerted price is very heavy. Many bereaved families who were in attendance left the area in protest during his speech. Confrontations between families and government representatives took place during memorial ceremonies held in cemeteries across Israel. 

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