Israelis Celebrate Independence Day

 

Jerusalem, April 25 — Celebrations begin tonight and last through tomorrow in Israel as the country rings in Independence Day marking the country’s 64th anniversary. Streets in central Jerusalem and elsewhere will be closed to vehicles for live musical performances, street dancing and other activities. Fireworks displays will also light up the skies. Many Jewish communities in the United States and worldwide also celebrate the holiday.

The State of Israel was formally established on May 14, 1948, when the British relinquished control over the territory and Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared independence. The following day, armies from the surrounding Arab nations invaded the nascent Jewish state. After months of heavy fighting and casualties on both sides, the War of Independence officially ended in January 1949.

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel guarantees freedom of worship to all citizens – Christians, Muslims, Jews and all others.

Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut in Hebrew, follows a day of mourning when Israelis honor their fallen soldiers and victims of terror during the country’s Remembrance Day, or Yom Ha’Zikaron. Sirens sounded across the country Tuesday night and Wednesday as Israelis observed a moment of silence to honor the 22,993 men and women who have died defending the Jewish state.

“The unbreakable bond between Remembrance Day and Independence Day underscores the fact that our dear ones who fell in Israel's wars did not fall in vain,” Netanyahu said in remarks to bereaved families.“Thanks to them, the State arose. Thanks to them, the State of Israel will continue to develop and prosper, and thanks to them the members of the younger generation will also be able to live their lives in security and tranquility.”

The State of Israel was formally established on May 14, 1948, when the British relinquished control over the territory and Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared independence. The following day, armies from the surrounding Arab nations invaded the nascent Jewish state. After months of heavy fighting and casualties on both sides, the War of Independence officially ended in January 1949.

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel guarantees freedom of worship to all citizens – Christians, Muslims, Jews and all others.


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