Pics: Israel Pays Tribute to Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu places a wreath of flowers during the Memorial Day ceremony in Jerusalem's Mount Herzl cemetery on May 8, 2019. - Netanyahu vowed today not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear arms after the Islamic republic said it would abandon limits on its nuclear activities agreed …
HEIDI LEVINE/AFP/Getty

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israelis came to a two-minute standstill on Wednesday to honor the memory of fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism on the country’s Memorial Day.

At Jerusalem’s ordinarily boisterous and bustling Mahane Yehuda market, shoppers and vendors froze in place and cafe patrons stood at their tables during the two-minute siren at 11 a.m. (0800 GMT). Motor vehicles stopped on highways and their passengers exited to stand with heads bowed.

Bereaved Israeli families visited cemeteries and attended memorial ceremonies. Television and radio aired somber music, documentaries about slain soldiers, and broadcasts of state memorial services.

Israelis attend the Memorial Day ceremony in Jerusalem's Mount Herzl cemetery on May 8, 2019. - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed today not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear arms after the Islamic republic said it would abandon limits on its nuclear activities agreed in a 2015 deal. "This morning on my way here I heard that Iran intends to continue its nuclear programme," Netanyahu said at a ceremony on Israel's annual day of remembrance for its fallen soldiers and civilian victims of militant attacks. (Photo by HEIDI LEVINE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HEIDI LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Israelis attend the Memorial Day ceremony in Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery on May 8, 2019. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear arms after the Islamic republic said it would abandon limits on its nuclear activities agreed in a 2015 deal. (HEIDI LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel has fought half a dozen wars with neighboring Arab countries, battled two Palestinian uprisings and endured dozens of deadly militant attacks since its founding in 1948. The country honors 23,471 fallen soldiers, and the list of slain civilians, over 3,100 long, grew after four Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza over the weekend.

Speaking at a state memorial ceremony at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Iran’s announcement that it would partially withdraw from its nuclear deal with world powers in response to U.S. pressure.

“We will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to fight those who seek to take our lives, and we will thrust our roots even deeper into the soil of our homeland.”

Israeli surfers stand still during two minutes of silence at the Kontiki Beach to mark Remembrance Day (or Memorial Day), on May 8, 2019 in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya. - Israel marked its annual day of remembrance for fallen troops and civilians killed in terror attacks, with the country standing at attention for two minutes while sirens wailed. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli surfers stand still during two minutes of silence at the Kontiki Beach to mark Remembrance Day (or Memorial Day), on May 8, 2019 in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya. – Israel marked its annual day of remembrance for fallen troops and civilians killed in terror attacks, with the country standing at attention for two minutes while sirens wailed. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

At sundown the country will transition from sorrow to celebration and marks its 71st Independence Day.

At Memorial Day’s commencement on Tuesday evening, approximately 9,000 people attended a joint Israeli-Palestinian ceremony in Tel Aviv.

Israeli police said five people were arrested for public disturbance during a protest outside the joint Israeli-Palestinian ceremony.

 

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