On the eve of Memorial Day, which will be commemorated starting on Monday evening at sundown, the Ministry of Defense on Friday morning published the updated tally of fallen IDF soldiers from 1860 to the present day: 24,213. The year 1860 is the year that the first Jewish settlers left the secure walls of Jerusalem to build new neighborhoods.
From Memorial Day last year and until today, 59 people have been added to the tally, as well as another 86 handicapped people, who died as a result of their disability and were recognized during the year as IDF casualties.
Amid concerns of protests during the Memorial Day ceremonies in the military cemeteries throughout the country, the Ministry of Defense called on the public to respect the memory of the fallen, stand alongside the bereaved families and allow them to unite with the memory of their loved ones.
The Ministry of Defense also stated that the Department of Families, Commemoration and Heritage in the Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for the Memorial Day events, has completed the preparation of the 52 military cemeteries in various Israeli towns from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat.
The works included renovation, accessibility, maintenance, cleaning, gardening as well as polishing and replacing damaged or old gravestones. During the last few weeks, the employees of the department initiated calls to the bereaved families in preparation for Memorial Day, with the aim of providing them with any assistance they may need.
Along with the fallen IDF soldiers, 4,255 civilians have been murdered in hostilities from 1851 until today. Since the last Memorial Day, 31 civilians have been killed in hostilities, including two disabled people who were injured several years ago and were recognized by the state as victims of hostilities.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the number of victims of hostilities stands at 3,236 murdered people, of which 740 were children and teenagers up to the age of 18, as well as 120 Israelis who were murdered abroad and 135 foreign citizens murdered in terrorist attacks.
The most recent Israelis who were murdered in hostilities are the members of the Dee family, mother Lucy and daughters Rina and Maia, who were murdered in a shooting attack in the Jordan Valley during Passover.
The terrorist and hate attacks have left 3,420 orphans, of which 118 lost both parents, 800 widows, 851 bereaved parents, and 250 families who suffered multiple losses of more than one person per family.