Israel on Wednesday held a series of events to mark its 72nd Independence Day, including military over flights honouring the efforts of the country’s medical personnel in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Fighter jets flew over hospitals across the country, while strict lockdown measures were put in place for the occasion to prevent the usual mass outdoor celebrations.
Meanwhile, a formal ceremony had been recorded with minimal attendance and was broadcast by several media stations.
Israel had previously scaled back its coronavirus restrictions but, however, re-instated measures recently used during Passover, preventing people from leaving home except in exceptional circumstances.
However, Israelis were rather urged to watch fireworks from balconies.
According to official statistics, at present, Israel has around 9.2 million inhabitants, compared to 806,000 when the state was founded in 1948.
According to the Jewish calendar, Israeli Independence Day falls on April 29. Founding father David Ben Gurion had announced the country’s declaration of independence in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948.
However, on May 15, 1948, its Arab neighbours, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria all declared war on the newly founded state.
During the conflict, Israel expanded its territory and seized the Western part of Jerusalem. Some 700,000 Palestinians fled/expelled from their homes.
Israel held its annual Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s events.
Cemeteries were closed to visitors, while the main ceremony at Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza took place without an audience, but was broadcast live. (dpa/NAN)