Israeli leaders warn enemies on Memorial Day
MENAHEM KAHANA (AFP)
Speaking at a ceremony on Memorial Day at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, emphasized the importance of standing strong at Israel's borders.
"Our soldiers are standing firm at the border. We have to remember our joint mission to strengthen the nation of Israel," Eizenkot said.
Israel’s Memorial Day was set to begin on Tuesday at sundown in memory of fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks since the establishment of the State of Israel.
The commemoration began earlier on Tuesday with a ceremony at Yad Labanim memorial for fallen soldiers in Jerusalem.
Israel's President Reuven Rivlin also spoke at the Memorial Day ceremony in Jerusalem, saying "we must continue to ensure that we send our sons and daughters into battle only after we have done everything possible to ensure that we have no choice but to go out."
"We will pursue and achieve every enemy with the same intensity, but we will continue to strive for peace and peace with all our neighbors," Rivlin added.
At 08:00 pm, a one minute siren rang across the country in memory of the fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks.
This year 71 new names were added to the 23,645 soldiers who died defending Israel since 1948, as well as 12 new names added to the 3,134 victims of terror attacks.
-Iran on the agenda-
In different ceremonies commemorating Israel's fallen soldiers on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett both warned Iran from attacking Israel.
Netanyahu spoke at the Foreign Ministry's annual memorial ceremony where he linked the Iranian regimes behavior to terror.
"Terrorism crosses boundaries and today – as was the case then (in 1979) – it is under Iranian auspices, and under the sponsorship of Islamic State. There is no continent or country safe from terrorism."
The prime minister was determined that Israel can stop Iran by force: "What we have to do is stand against them together - to build a strong dam of the civilized world against the flood of radicalism. Terrorists smell weakness, but they equally recognize power. With force and firmness we will stop their aggression."
Israel believes that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has established bases in Syria and is planning to launch a retaliatory attack against the Jewish State in response to its alleged air strike on an Iranian operated airbase last week, an Israeli security source said on Monday.
Naftali Bennett reiterated that message in his speech at the historic battle site of Latrun, warning Israel's enemies not to test the Jewish state:
"We are surrounded by enemies. Only a few weeks ago Iran sent an armed drone towards us. The Iranian octopus is trying to strangle us and break our spirit. But Israel is stronger than them. We have a 3,800 year old nation, with the strongest spirit on earth. From here I tell the leaders of Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah – do not try us."
Bennett also echoed Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's statement earlier this month, saying that Israel can't depend on others to fight its battles.
"Last week we remembered the price we paid for not having a state. Now we remember the price we have and pay for having a state. In two days at Auschwitz we lost the same number of soldiers we lost since the founding of Israel. Never will we depend on anyone but ourselves."
Israel is on high alert on the northern border after senior Iranian officials and members of Hezbollah issued harshly-worded threats at Israel warning of a foreboding attack.
“The Zionist entity will sooner or later receive the necessary response and will regret its misdeeds” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said according to Iranian news media, adding that “the Syrian and resistance forces will respond in a timely fashion and appropriately in the region.”
Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that the “crime” committed “will not remain without response.”
Ali Shirazi Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp said that. "if Israel wants to continue its treacherous existence ... it should avoid stupid measures. If they give excuses to Iran, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be destroyed."
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