Israel celebrates its 69th anniversary of independence

Israelis can view the stealth F-35 bomber newly arrived from the US in the fly-past the Air Force stages the length and breadth of the country Tuesday to mark 69th Independence Day. It flies in formations with F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the veteran Hercules transport plane and its successor the new Samson. Training aircraft and the Saar and Yasur freight helicopters also performs. During the day, many IDF bases and facilities are open to the public. The traditional Young World Bible Quiz takes place in the afternoon.The award of the Israeli prize to honorees in various fields is the closing event of the day which is dedicated this year to 50 years of reunified Jerusalem.

Monday night, twelve citizens were honored by lighting torches at a ceremony on Mt Herzl at the beginning of Israel’s 69th anniversary celebrations. .

Uri Malmalian, a retired former soccer champion.

Prof. Ahmed Eid, the head of the Department of General Surgery at Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus. Born in an Israeli Arab village in the Galilee, he studied in Jerusalem, where he lives, and performed the first kidney transplant in Israel.

Amnon Shashua, the founder of driverless-technology company Mobileye, which was recently sold to Intel for a record $15.3 billion.

Dina Simta, a 19-year-old member of the Bnei Menashe Jews of northern India, and a student at Jerusalem's School for the Blind.

Chana Henkin, who immigrated from the United Sates and founded a number of religious schools for women. Her son and his wife were killed in a Palestinian terror attack.

Yehoram Gaon, a long favorite Israeli singer, actor and comedian. His family’s Jerusalem roots go back generations.

Yaki (Yaakov) Hetz, who fought in the battle for Ammunition Hill, one of Israel's most famous Six Day War battles, will light a torch in honor of IDF veterans and bereaved families.

The two American citizens taking part in the ceremony will light torches for the first time on behalf of the Jewish Diaspora. They are Rabbi Marvin Hier, who took part in US President Donald Trump's inauguration, and Michael Steinhardt, one of the founders of Taglit-Birthright organization.

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