Units throughout the IDF (Zahal) held a variety of celebratory and educational events to celebrate Israel’s 65th Independence Day, many of them open to the public
Date: 15/04/2013, 8:00 PM Author: IDF (Zahal) Website
The IDF (Zahal) celebrated Israel’s Independence Day (Monday night, April 15, and Tuesday, April 16) by holding a variety of celebratory and educational events, many of which were open to the public.
In honor of the holiday, private citizens were invited to visit many IDF (Zahal) bases throughout Israel. Bases of the various commands held exhibitions featuring their vehicles and other technology. Additionally, the Ground Forces displayed its different branches and the technologies they use – including tanks, artillery and camouflage means – in a multi-corps exhibition at the historic site of Latrun.
The Israel Air Force wished Israel a happy Independence Day with its traditional fly-over on Tuesday, April 16. The event, which took place from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., featured F-16, F-16i, and F-15i fighter jets, as well as transport planes and helicopters. The aircraft flew over Israel’s largest cities, as well as many smaller communities.
Additionally, the IAF opened several of its main bases to the public. The Hatzerim, Ramat David and Tel Nof airbases and the Air Force’s technical school held presentations featuring a variety of aircraft used by the IAF in the past and in the present. The Air Force also displayed some of its weaponry and search and rescue equipment.
The Air Force Museum at Hatzerim (near Beer Sheva) was opened, holding demonstration flights of aircraft from the 1950s, a concert of the Air Force’s band and a presentation of 150 aircraft from throughout the history of the IAF. The museum featured a variety of activities for children.
The Navy also opened its Eilat base to the public in honor of Independence Day. An exhibition there featured various ground and maritime forces that operate in southern Israel, including Magen David Adom as well as military and police forces. The Navy’s base in Haifa screened movies on the history of immigration to pre-state Israel during the British Mandate, as well as films about its various seacraft.
Defense leaders wish Israel a happy Independence Day
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and members of the General Staff Forum held a toast in honor of the holiday on Thursday (April 11).
“The existence of the State [of Israel] is remarkable, since so many forces wanted to prevent the establishment of the state – and continue to invest so much today in fighting against its existence,” the Minister of Defense said. “But there is no doubt, to be blunt, that the difference between independence and no independence is the defensive force of the IDF (Zahal).”
The Chief of Staff said, “We have the great privilege of defending the State of Israel, securing its independence, leading the commanders who truly give of themselves for the mission in every way. May we have a successful year of independence in the face of the full spectrum of developing challenges. I am confident that we will know how to properly fulfill our mission.”