Israel's traditionally dovish President Shimon Peres offered a stark warning to Israel's enemies on the Jewish state's 64th Independence Day.
"To those who are now threatening Israel, I say: Don't repeat the mistakes of your predecessors," Peres said during an annual ceremony at the President’s residence.
"You threaten out of a hunger for conquest. We defend out of an aspiration for peace," he said.
"Those wars, which Israel did not initiate, brought it unexpected gains, causing the aggressors unexpected losses," he added.
The ceremony, which honored 120 exceptional soldiers, is held every Independence Day.
An estimated 1.5 million people were expected to flock to Israel's parks and recreation areas for hikes and barbeques.
Many Israel Defense Forces bases were also open to the general public.
Parks and bases were overrun by late morning, forcing the Israel Police to divert crowds to alternative locations.