(JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, April 19 participated in a cornerstone laying ceremony at Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem for a memorial hall honoring victims of terrorism.
“Even if there are among us differences of opinion and outlook, before anything else, we are brothers and sisters,” the premier said.
“The terrorism that deliberately strikes at innocents does not distinguish between secular and religious, Jew and non-Jew, right-wing or left-wing. We are all bound to one fate. We remember all of them and we promise in their names to fight terrorism all-out.”
The memorial will span 172 years of hostile acts with the first terror victim recognized by the State of Israel as Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref, who was murdered in Jerusalem’s Old City in 1851 while trying to rebuild the Hurva Synagogue. The latest victim is Lucy Dee, who was fatally wounded in a terrorist attack in the Jordan Valley on April 7 that also killed her daughters Maya and Rina.
More than 28,000 casualties of terrorism and war are recognized by the State of Israel—over 24,000 fallen soldiers from war and over 4,000 civilians in terrorist attacks.
“The major difference is that then the murderers were dealing with a small community that barely succeeded in defending itself. Today, even though they diminish us and wound us and we live our lives amid trials and tribulations, there is no doubt about our ability to defeat them,” Netanyahu said.
“The question of our existence was once in doubt; today it is not, even though the price is high. Your loved ones are torn from you, and then the pain and the longing do not relent. Family after family, one after another, experiences the void at home. Family after family has its memories, but here we intend to gather all the memories in one hall.”
The ceremony was conducted by Rachel and Avraham Fraenkel, the parents of Naftali Fraenkel, who was murdered by Hamas terrorists in 2014 along with fellow teenagers Gil-Ad Sha’ar and Eyal Yifrach, triggering Operation Protective Edge.
Also in attendance were Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Ya’akov Margi, Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur, the prime minister’s chief of staff Tzachi Braverman, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, Victims of Terrorism Organization Chairman Abie Moses and bereaved families.