(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel on Monday held a ceremony marking one year since last summer’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.
“It was a moral and just campaign undertaken by a sovereign state to defend its citizens,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said at the ceremony.
“Men, women, children, and the elderly were exposed to the terror of death and the shock waves that follow,” said Rivlin. During the 50-day conflict with Hamas, 66 IDF soldiers and six Israeli civilians were killed.
Attending the ceremony were bereaved family members and IDF soldiers who fought in the Gaza war. The commander of the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion, Lt. Col. Shay Siman Tov, who sustained serious injuries in the operation, read the mourner’s kaddish from his wheelchair.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that Israeli commanders last summer kept the letters children wrote to them on the walls of their command center, saying that it “gave the IDF soldiers the extra strength to fight our enemies. They did so with utmost regard for the laws of war and the IDF’s value of purity of arms.”