Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at Yad L'Banim memorial ceremony

The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and their families know that when they go to war, if anything happens to them they will never be abandoned — no matter how long it takes to find them.

Speaking at a ceremony held Tuesday afternoon ahead of Israel’s Memorial Day at the Yad L’Banim memorial for fallen soldiers in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, “We do not want war, but we know that our willingness to make sacrifices is the thing that guarantees our survival.”


Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Chairwoman of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization Tami Shelach also participated in the ceremony.

The prime minister added that his government would not give up the search for those who have yet to be returned home to their loved ones.

Read: Body of MIA Sgt. Zachary Baumel Returns to Israel 37 Years After First Lebanon War

“I promise that we will continue to work to bring back our missing [soldiers] and our captives, as we brought Zacharia Baumel back to Israel.”

The body of Brooklyn-born IDF Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Baumel was returned home last month for proper burial with the active assistance of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Baumel was a tank commander who went missing in action in the 1982 First Lebanon War after having been captured during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub in the Bekaa Valley.

His body was recovered as part of Operation Bittersweet Song: 37 years of ceaseless searching for the MIAs of the First Lebanon War by Israeli military intelligence, research and operational personnel.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.