Bennett and Rivlin at ceremony
Bennett and Rivlin at ceremony Mark Neiman/GPO

A memorial service was held on Mount Herzl Thursday afternoon marking the 12th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War.

The ceremony was attended by President Reuven Rivlin, representative of the bereaved families Yaakov Dahan, father of the late Shimon Dahan, who fell in battle in Bint Jbeil, and members of the families of the fallen, joined by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan, and MK Bezalel Smotrich.

Minister Naftali Bennett said at the event: "Twelve years ago, we engaged in a war that was just, but not properly managed. It made me want to enter politics and change things so that such matters would not happen again in the future

President Reuven Rivlin said "the Second Lebanon War was a war in which adherence to the mission of sacrifice and self-sacrifice of soldiers and commanders also overlapped with failures and deficiencies that were exposed - in readiness, in readiness, in stocks and in equipment."

"It was a war in which the home front was a front, a war in which soldiers displayed courage and the determination of Israeli civil society was revealed in full force. The war was a wake-up call to all of us about the importance of training, the importance of stocks and emergency warehouses, and about the danger of erosion in the preparedness for war in the course of a long and protracted struggle against terrorism," Rivlin said.

He added that "the second Lebanon war brought peace to the northern communities, a quiet we paid for in blood. But the threat is still grave, and this silence does not mislead the captains of the IDF and its commanders and the entire defense establishment. The days and years between the battles are intensifying the IDF's preparedness and deterrent power, and the IDF is better prepared today than it was 12 years ago."

"Only this year we have witnessed the heating up of the northern sector as a result of the provocations of Iran and its miniona," said the president. "Iran has continued its subversion in the Middle East and the arming of organizations near our border, and the Iranian presence is causing regional instability, which could lead to a serious escalation and cause the whole region to deteriorate into war."

He stated that "the State of Israel will not stand idly by. We will not allow Iranian consolidation in Lebanon or Syria, and we expect that there will be a focused international effort to remove the Iranian forces from the Fertile Crescent. We also believe that prior to the reaffirmation of UNIFIL's mission attention must be brought to UN Resolution 1701, which is constantly being violated by Lebanon, Hezbollah and Iran. We are not eager to fight, but Israel will strictly observe its supreme commitment to the security, safety and well-being of its citizens."

"There is no measure of the pain that you have paid and that you are paying now. From here I send my best wishes to the IDF wounded, some of whom are still struggling and from whom life has not returned to normal. We are still obliged to do everything, to find information about the missing IDF soldiers and to bring to their burial place Israel's fallen, whose memory is engraved on our hearts."

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