Israel celebrates 66 years of independence

Israel celebrates 66 years of independence

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    Israel celebrates 66 years of independence Israel celebrates 66 years of independence
    Israel Independence Day is celebrated annually on the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, according to the Hebrew calendar, on 5 Iyar (this year celebrated one day later because of the Sabbath). The day preceding this celebration is devoted to the memory of those who gave their lives for the achievement of the country's independence and its continued existence.
    This proximity is intended to remind people of the heavy price paid for independence. On this day the entire nation remembers its debt and expresses eternal gratitude to its sons and daughters who gave their lives for the achievement of the country's independence and its continued existence.

    On May 14, 1948, the day the British Mandate expired, the new Jewish state - the State of Israel - was formally established in parts of what was known as the British Mandate for Palestine. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence was restored after 2,000 years.

    The national anthem: Hatikva
    Independence Day is a celebration of the renewal of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel, the birthplace of the Jewish people. In this land, the Jewish people began to develop its distinctive religion and culture some 4,000 years ago, and here it has preserved an unbroken physical presence, for centuries as a sovereign state, at other times under foreign domination.

    Throughout their long history, the yearning to return to the land has been the focus of Jewish life. Theodor Herzl​, the leader and founder of the Zionist movement, increased international recognition for the need of a Jewish state.

    Since its establishment, Israel continues to be a homeland to the thousands who make their way to Israel annually. It is home to some of the holiest religious sites of the three major religions, all which enjoy the democratic rights delineated in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel​.

  • Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars


    Remembrance Day, Yom Hazikaronwhich begins on Sunday evening, May 4, is a day of collective and personal anguish mingled with awe and honor for the fallen. The official events begin at 8:00 PM with a moment of national silence heralded by a one minute siren.

    Officer places a flag on a fallen soldier's grave. (Archive photo: IDF Spokesperson)

    On Monday, ceremonies commence at 11:00 AM at 44 IDF military cemeteries located throughout the country following a two minute blast of the siren. There will also be a ceremony for overseas Mahal volunteers who fought and died during the War of Independence, which will take place near the Sha'ar Hagai Junction. Israel's flag, adorned with a black ribbon and memorial flame, is placed on each and every grave of those who fell in Israel's battles and are buried in military cemeteries throughout Israel. It expresses the country's respect for the fallen as well as the entire country's participation in the grief of the families.

    "The ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly..." 
    In memory of those who have fallen while on duty in the Israeli Foreign Service

  • Independence Day

    Israel's 66th Independence Day celebrations will commence on Monday evening, May 5, immediately upon the conclusion of Remembrance Day, when the state flag is raised to full mast at a national ceremony on Mount Herzl, at which twelve torches are lit. Independence Day is filled with festivities and celebrations including picnics, barbecues, family gatherings and nature trips. Balconies, car windows, store fronts and more are liberally decorated with Israeli flags.

  • Population of Israel

    On the eve of Independence Day 2014, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced that the population of Israel numbers 8,180,000 - more than ten times the population at the establishment of the state in 1948 (806,000). Jews today constitute 75.0% of the population, and Arabs 20.7%.

    Since last Independence Day, the population has increased by 157,000, a growth of 2.0%. In 1948, only Tel Aviv-Jaffa had more than 100,000 residents. Today there are 14 cities in Israel with a population of over 100,000, and six over 200,000: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva.

  • Relevant documents and websites