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Israel to Observe Memorial Day Amid Gaza War, Hostage Crisis

Mourners visit the graves of fallen IDF soldiers at Israel’s Yom HaZikaron ceremony. Photo: Israel Defense Forces

i24 NewsOn Sunday and Monday, Israel is to observe Yom Hazikaron, the nation’s official Memorial Day for her fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. The commemoration comes amid Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas.

According to the Defense Ministry, 766 Israeli soldiers were killed while serving in the military during the past year. Another 61 veterans died due to complications from wounds sustained during their service in previous years.

A minute of silence will be held across the country at 8:00 p.m. (local time). A minute-long siren will sound and after that the state memorial ceremony will open in the Western Wall Plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem, with the President Isaac Herzog and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi planned to attend the event.

On Monday, at 11:00 a.m. a two-minute siren will sound, followed by the state ceremony for the martyrs of Israel’s systems at the State Memorial Hall for the fallen of Israel’s systems on Mount Herzl, in the presence of President Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials.

Immediately after the siren, at 11:02 a.m., a special flight of fighter jets with a missing structure will pass over the military cemetery and the state memorial hall on Mount Herzl and over Pilot’s Mountain. At 1:00 p.m. the state memorial ceremony for the victims of hostilities in Israel and abroad will be held at the state memorial on Mount Herzl.

The Memorial Day events will end at 20:00 when with the torchlight ceremony that will mark the 76th Independence Day of the State of Israel. Following the events of October 7, the ceremony will be conducted in a different manner – with no audience present, filmed in advance – and honor the Hamas hostages.

Earlier on Saturday, hostages’ families rallied to demand a deal, emphasizing 38 captives have been already declared dead. The Hostages and Missing Families Forum said the demonstration is meant to mourn the memory of the hostages who have been killed and whose bodies are being held by Hamas in Gaza.

The post Israel to Observe Memorial Day Amid Gaza War, Hostage Crisis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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