Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the grave of his older brother, Yoni, at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, ahead of Memorial Day.
Accompanied by his wife Sara, the couple paid their respects to the IDF war hero Saturday night so as not to interfere with visitors to the cemetery throughout the week.
Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu was killed during the 1976 Operation Entebbe, a daring IDF rescue mission to release hostages being held by Palestinian terrorists.
Over 100 elite Israeli commandos were covertly transported into Uganda to rescue the hostages. 102 hostages were rescued, five Israeli commandos wounded, and Netanyahu, who was the commander of the operation, was killed.
Israel’s Memorial Day will begin Tuesday night with a one-minute long siren at 8 pm. The siren also marks the beginning of the national memorial service, held annually at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
A second siren on Wednesday at 11 am will last two minutes and signal the beginning of memorial services at 52 military cemeteries across Israel.
This year, Israel will remember 23,320 casualties of war and terrorism since 1860. According to statistics released by the IDF on Friday, 16,760 families are “bereaved families” in Israel. There are 9,753 grieving parents, 4,958 widows and 2,098 orphans.