Jerusalem:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned during a Memorial Day ceremony on Tuesday that his country "will always be prepared for a military campaign to fight off threats."
The remarks were made at Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, in Jerusalem during the main ceremony of the Memorial Day to commemorate fallen soldiers and people killed in attacks.
As part of the country's efforts to halt the novel coronavirus outbreak, the somber ceremony, typically attended by hundreds of bereaved families and senior officials, was attended by 19 officials, including President Reuven Rivlin who stood in distance wearing masks.
Netanyahu himself did not attend the ceremony but sent pre-recorded remarks on video.He warned that "everyone needs to know that we will always be prepared for a military campaign to fight off threats."
Israel was starting to come out of the lockdown over the past few days but the government decided to tighten the restrictions to prevent big gatherings during the Memorial Day and the following Independence Day.
At the beginning of the Memorial Day on Monday, most cemeteries in the country were shut down under government requirements, in order to prevent bereaved families from visiting the graves of their loved ones. Families typically visit the graves of their fallen relatives on this day.
Hundreds of ceremonies that were typically held in cemeteries, city halls, and schools were canceled, or instead, being held with the attendance by a small number of participants or online.
The commemoration of the Day of Remembrance of Fallen Soldiers is marked a week after the Holocaust Remembrance Day, and precedes the celebrations of the Israeli Independence Day which will begin on Tuesday evening and continues through Wednesday. XINHU