- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2013

A two-minute siren sounded right at 11 a.m. on Monday, bringing Israel to a halt during a days-long period of remembrance and honor for the nation’s 25,578 victims of war and terrorist attacks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who lost his brother during a conflict in 1967 — said during formal remarks that the nation would never forget, even as it strived for peace with neighbors.

“We will continue to work to make peace with our neighbors and to defend our land,” he said, The Times of Israel reported. “From the day of Israel’s birth, great forces tried to destroy her. They never succeeded and will never succeed.”

He also said, during an address for victims of terrorists, that Israel would never cede its rights, or properties.

“We will not give in or surrender,” he said in The Times of Israel report. “We will pursue the terrorists relentlessly, and we will strike them in any place. … Our willpower is greater than their willpower.”

But Israel would never “teach our children vengeance and hatred,” he added, in The Times of Israel.

The Times of Israel reported that 1.5 million in the nation were visiting cemeteries and memorial sites between Sunday and Monday, and that 23,085 security force members died during active service since the 1947 War of Independence. Another 2,493 civilians died in terrorist attacks, the paper reported.

On Monday evening, Israel will move from somber to celebratory and mark its 65th Independence Day with fireworks.

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