Individual moments can have an extraordinary impact. Certain moments in our history have turned into symbols of hope, courage and perseverance. Here, we have gathered four incredible moments that have made a lasting mark on our history.
Reaching the Red Sea – War of Independence
General Avraham Adan raises the Ink Flag in Eilat
On March 10, 1949, the IDF (Zahal) reached the southernmost city of Eilat during the last operation of the War of Independence. The city fell into Israeli hands without a fight. When the soldiers realized they didn’t have an Israeli flag, General Avraham Adan, pictured above, made one from a white sheet with two ink stripes and a Star of David taken from a first aid kit. This moment symbolized the end of the War of Independence and lives on as a symbol of Israel’s victory.
Returning to the Western Wall – Six Day War
IDF (Zahal) soldiers at the Western Wall after retaking control in 1967.
In June 1967, Yitzhak Yifat (center), an IDF (Zahal) paratrooper, was one of the first soldiers to reach the Western Wall after battling the Jordanian forces in the Old City of Jerusalem. “I was very moved by what we accomplished that day,” he said. “I realized how important it was.” 48 years later, the moment lives on in this iconic photograph.
Crossing the Suez Canal on a Floating Bridge – Yom Kippur War
IDF (Zahal) soldiers and tanks cross the Suez Canal on an improvised, floating bridge in 1973
After a brutal Egyptian attack, the IDF (Zahal) knew it had to respond. One problem stood in the way. The IDF (Zahal) had to find a creative solution to move soldiers, tanks and equipment across the Suez canal. Brig. Gen. David Laskov created a brilliant solution – a floating bridge made from foam rollers that would support the weight of tanks and heavy weaponry. This single, improvised, technological creation changed the course of the war and put the IDF (Zahal) back on the offensive.
Rescuing Israeli Hostages Held 2,500 Miles Away – Operation Entebbe
Rescue pilot and rescued hostages celebrate after returning safely to Israel
On the 4th of July, 1976, Israeli commandos launched a daring raid into Uganda to rescue 104 Israelis taken hostage on an Air France flight en route to Paris from Tel Aviv. After a week of planning, 100 soldiers stormed the airport where the hostages were being held and airlifted 102 hostages to safety. This mission evidenced IDF (Zahal)’s commitment to being the defender of the Israeli people. The success of Operation Entebbe has inspired and intrigued the world ever since.