Date: 03/05/2009, 6:23 PM Author: Rani Sneh
On Tuesday (March 3), a national ceremony took place in memory of the IDF (Zahal)’s fallen soldiers that were declared Missing In Action. The ceremony was at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem, and took place on the 7th of Adar, which according to the Jewish tradition, is the day of Moses death; the location of his burial is still unknown. Among the attendees were President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and several other senior officials. On the memorial wall for fallen soldiers, which was built five years ago and previously consisted of 567 names, the names of six fallen soldiers were added; Reuven Pitel, Pinchas Cohen, Amiram Igentinsky and Yehiel Michael Karsel, who were killed in Battle Tira during the War of Independence; Shalom Tzalach Shalom and Yosef Batzri, who were hung on the gallows during underground activities that took place in Iraq in 1952.
“The State of Israel is fully committed, among all the other nations in the world, to return its soldiers held as prisoners and to locate missing fighters -this is how we operate, and we are currently working to live up to this standard and to bring Gilad Shalit home; this is how the national commitment stands with regards to you and with regards to your beloved.” Defense Minister Barak also remarked: “On this day, we raise the flag in honor of the fallen. Their glory is kept forever on the stand of fire over the nation of Israel. You, the family members, will forever remain in our hearts.”