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PM: Israel represents Jews’ decision to take fate and defense into own hands

Addressing the state ceremony in Mount Herzl by video message, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the State of Israel and its military are an enduring testimony to the Jewish people’s decision to take its fate, and its defense, into its own hands after thousands of years of helplessness.

He says Israel’s “decisive policy toward those who would harm us prevents new victims.” And he vows that Israel “will always be prepared to act to rebuff threats.”

He notes that the number of fallen soldiers in the past year was the lowest since the formation of the state in 1948.

And he vows to “continue to work tirelessly to return our missing and our prisoners,” specifically naming the two Israelis held by the Hamas terror group in Gaza, Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed, and the bodies of two soldiers also held by the group, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

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