Isaac Herzog with the soldiers
Isaac Herzog with the soldiers צילום: קובי גדעון/לע"מ

On Israel's Independence Day this Thursday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog will host the main national celebrations of the morning of Independence Day in the gardens of the President's Residence in Jerusalem.

The event will be attended by Israel's top leadership, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, and General Staff officers past and present. The festivities will continue with the traditional ceremony saluting outstanding IDF soldiers.

Ahead of the event, President Isaac Herzog went to the gardens of the President's Residence this morning to meet the 120 outstanding and excited soldiers, who were in the middle of rehearsals for the Independence Day ceremony.

President Herzog congratulated the soldiers and said: “Good morning to the State of Israel's most outstanding soldiers! It brings such immense pride to see you. You have an exhausting few days ahead of you, but know that this is an experience that will stick with you your whole lives. This is a great privilege. You were chosen out of tens if not hundreds of thousands. You are a great source of pride. I love you intensely, and I am proud of you as if you were my own sons and daughters.

The President added: “I wish you all good health and success in your service and later in civilian life. Keep serving our country. Thanks to you, our country is so strong, successful, and well defended. Long live the Israel Defense Forces and best of success to you all!”

As in every year, the ceremony will open with an honorary flyover with the participation of Israeli Air Force fighter jets and helicopters, in a tribute to the outstanding soldiers. At the end of the flyover, the President and the IDF Chief of Staff will review the ranks of the outstanding soldiers.

The event, which will be broadcast live, will include the first-ever screening of artist Yardena Arazi's new cover of songs written by the late songwriter Yoram Taharlev, in a special tribute.

The Independence Day celebrations will take place in the gardens of the President's Residence and will be emceed by Doria Lampel and Amos Tamam. The event will also feature new covers of a selection of Israeli songs by artists Agam Buhbut, Benaia Barabi, and Elai Botner & the Outside Kids, accompanied by military ensembles and the IDF Orchestra. Director and editor-in-chief: Ronen Peled Hadad.