IDF medics train to evacuate wounded troops. (IDF)

Israelis must do everything in their power “to express appreciation for those who have sacrificed their bodies for the good of the country,” said the Deputy Defense Minister. 

The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Tuesday marked the National Day of Appreciation for Those Wounded in Israel’s Wars and in Terrorist Attacks.

Knesset committees held sessions on the topic, and later a special event was held with the participation of Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Yoel Edelstein, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan and Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev.

The event, which was attended by disabled IDF veterans and victims of terror attacks, was initiated by MK Anat Berko, chairwoman of the Lobby for Disabled IDF Veterans and Victims of Hostilities and hosted by renowned military correspondent Carmela Menashe.

Knesset Speaker Edelstein stated that ”today is a day of profound cross-sectoral gratitude to all of you. Thank you for carrying on your backs the heavy burden of the country’s inception. Your personal stories are intertwined with the story of the country. You all have the ability to conquer every obstacle and reach summits. We in the Knesset stand by you and we will continue to deal with all the problems that have been raised regarding the support the State must provide you.”

You Are Not Alone

Netanyahu said, ”I know that you deal, every day, with injuries to your body and soul. I want you to know that you are not alone. All of Israel’s citizens embrace you, knowing you have paid a price for each and every one of them. This is a national embrace.”

Netanyahu wished a speedy recovery to Asher Elmaliach, the security guard who was stabbed in the chest by a Palestinian terrorist at the entrance to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station on Sunday. Netanyahu noted that Elmaliach had ”prevented a major disaster.”

Culture and Sport Minister Regev said that ”over the years I have accompanied civilians and soldiers who were injured, and I have witnessed your difficulties and challenges. We should all salute you. Your fight for life is the essence of Israeliness. You give us strength and inspiration.”

Deputy Defense Minister Ben Dahan declared, “We, the elected officials, must do everything in our power in order to express appreciation for those who have sacrificed their bodies for the good of the country.”

MK Berko said, “The rights of disabled IDF veterans and those injured in terror attacks are not a social benefit. The State has a huge moral debt to these people, and we need to do more, such as make sure they are employed and give them a sense of self-worth; the sense that they are essential to Israeli society.”

Over 100,000 Israeli citizens have been wounded in Israel’s wars or in terrorist attacks. Because of their injuries, these citizens – in their daily routines – deal with a range of challenges, disabilities and difficulties.

This salute is commemorated on the 17th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which is the Hebrew date that coincides with the November 29, 1947 special UN General Assembly decision to terminate the British Mandate and establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. The selection of this date symbolizes the link between the circumstances in which these citizens have been injured and the establishment of Israel and the maintenance of its security.