|Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Israel Independence Day
11-12 May 2005 - 2-3 Iyar 5765
Israel Independence Day is celebrated annually, according to the Hebrew calendar, on 5 Iyar, the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. As this date falls this year on the Sabbath, Independence Day will be celebrated two days early, on Thursday, May 12. The day preceding this celebration is devoted to the memory of those who gave their lives for the achievement of the country's independence and its continued existence.
On Yom Hazikaron, Remembrance Day, which will begin on Tuesday evening, May 10, the entire nation remembers its debt and expresses eternal gratitude to its sons and daughters who gave their lives for the achievement of the country's independence and its continued existence. It is a day of collective and personal anguish mingled with awe and honor for the fallen.
|Number of soldiers and security personnel who have fallen since the War of Independence
|Total number fallen (including the pre-State period)
This number includes disabled IDF veterans who later died from their wounds and non-IDF personnel who fell in the line of duty.
|Number of soldiers killed since Remembrance Day last year
Israel's 57th Independence Day celebrations will commence on Wednesday evening, May 11, when the state flag is raised to full mast at a national ceremony on Mount Herzl, at which twelve torches are lit.
With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence, lost two thousand years earlier, was restored.
Independence Day is a celebration of the renewal of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel, the birthplace of the Jewish people. In this land, the Jewish people began to develop its distinctive religion and culture some 4,000 years ago, and here it has preserved an unbroken physical presence, for centuries as a sovereign state, at other times under foreign domination. Throughout their long history, the yearning to return to the Land has been the focus of Jewish life.
On the eve of Independence Day 2005, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced that the population of Israel has reached some 6,900,000 - an 8.5-fold increase since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, when the population numbered 806,000. The Arab community constitutes 20 percent of the population.
Greetings from President Moshe Katsav
Greetings from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Greetings from Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom
Three million people have immigrated to Israel since 1948, more than one million of them since 1990; 26,000 immigrated in the past year.
Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel, with a population of some 705,000 as opposed to just 84,000 in 1948. Tel Aviv-Yafo, the second largest city, has a population of 371,000.
Of the country's Jewish citizens, 65 percent were born in Israel. Immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union constitute the largest group with 950,000. In addition, 157,000 Israelis were born in Morocco, 110,000 in Rumania, 77,000 in North America, 70,000 in Iraq, 70,000 in Ethiopia and 64,000 in Poland.
Independence Day greetings to the Jewish communities in the Diaspora