President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman attended this morning (Sunday), together with IDF leadership, a state memorial ceremony for Israel's fallen soldiers whose resting place is unknown.
"Here, with you, dear families, we feel the worst pain of all. It is the pain of doubt, the pain of the unknown. This mount is full of pain, but in most cases it is the pain of certainty. The crushing certainty of death, the tragic news. Here, we mark the pain of uncertainty. Your sons, your loved ones, family members, dear and beloved friends, gone, never to return. Never to return literally. And in the absence of a grave and a tombstone we bring our pain here, to the edge of the ground of the missing," said President Rivlin.
"These days, when the State Comptroller's report on Operation Protective Edge shakes us all, we can not forget for a moment those for whom the battle is not over. Bereaved families. Soldiers who were wounded physically and mentally. As well as families whose sons never returned home. Families carrying doubt that tears their hearts," the President said, stressing: "The State of Israel and Israeli society do not forget and will not to forget Oron and Hadar. Israeli society and the Israeli government will do everything possible to return Hadar and Oron home. Hamas must internalize that humanitarian demands can not be directed only against Israel."
In closing his remarks, the President said: "Dear families, our commitment towards you, families of the missing soldiers, is unshakable and absolute. 'We have no Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,' said my teacher, man of Jerusalem Yehuda Amichai. Because in all our hearts and in all our mouths we maintain the commitment and hope. Commitment to return the boys, hope to remove the doubts. We will continue to do everything we can so that no family will deal with the burden of doubt. May the memory of our sons, Israel's fallen soldiers whose burial place is unknown, be blessed and close to our hearts forever."
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the ceremony, "We, like all Israeli governments have always done everything in order to shed light on the fate of the fallen soldiers whose resting place is unknown. This is a basic moral debt, first and foremost to you, families of boys who are not with us and soldiers and IDF commanders whom we send every day to dangerous, life-threatening missions. Dear families, the struggle in whose name your loved ones went to fight is still far from over. In the immediate vicinity and in distant countries ruthless organizations continue to seek to undermine daily life in our country. Even after decades of struggle, we have not lost hope to live in peace with our neighbors. But I do not suggest anyone test our resolve to protect the people of Israel. Those wishing to harm us will find himself facing a determined, strong, ready, and united army, who will return a severe blow to any threat, near and far."
Translated by Mordechai Sones