President Reuven Rivlin hosted at his official residence on Thursday the annual "All Israel from Jerusalem"celebration in honor of Israeli Independence Day.
Speaking at the ceremony was IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who, along with President Rivlin, presented 120 exemplary IDF soldiers and officers with the medal of excellence.
"Last year, Golani Brigade combat soldier Oron Shaul stood here [as a soldier of excellence]. The IDF will make every effort to bring him home for burial," Eizenkot promised.
Killed in Operation Protective Edge, Hamas terrorists in Gaza still hold possession of Shaul's body, as well as the body of Givati Brigade officer Hadar Goldin, and refuse to return them.
"We will continue to stand firm on the lookout. Our enemies will run into a ready and alert army of soldiers filled with the spirit of battle and a great sense of mission - an example of which can be seen here today," Eizenkot concluded.
After a long selection process, the soldiers chosen have been named as shining examples of standing for excellence and demonstrating dedication, professionalism, and responsibility in their service.
Of the 120 outstanding IDF soldiers and officers, there were 37 women and 83 men, as well 22 lone soldiers, four volunteer soldiers, 20 officers, and 64 combat soldiers.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also attended the celebratory ceremony.