JERUSALEM -- Remembrance Day ceremonies across Israel Tuesday began with sirens blaring for two minutes to honor Israelis who died defending the country.
At the main ceremony in Jerusalem's Mount Herzl Cemetery, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a crowd of 100,000-plus that Israel would not compromise its security or relinquish control of its future while striving for peace, The Jerusalem Post reported.
"Our hand is extended in peace to all our neighbors," Netanyahu said. "But our enemies should not misunderstand: We shall never compromise on our security, the security of the state of Israel. That is our obligation to the fallen; that is our obligation to the citizens of Israel; that is our obligation to coming generations."
Remembrance Day events were scheduled to end with a nighttime torch-lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl. Independence Day celebrations then will start, the newspaper said.
During a ceremony at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said unity shown on Remembrance Day must continue every day.
"It is this unity which helps us through times of despair and difficulties, and it is this which will also help us tomorrow to face great challenges," he said. "Our existence as a people and a nation depends on this unity."
Defense Ministry information indicates that since 1860, when the first Jewish settlers started setting up neighborhoods beyond Jerusalem's walls, 22,570 people have died defending Israel, the Post said.
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