Fights and yelling: anger at government boils over on Yom Hazikaron

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Fights and yelling: anger at government boils over on Yom Hazikaron

Families at Ashdod military cemetery shout at national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir: 'Get out of here, criminal. You haven't been in the army for a minute'

From left to right; Knesset speaker Amir Ohana, Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Herzog, First Lady Herzog, IDF chief Herzl Halevi. Memorial Day, May 13 2024. Ma'ayan Toaf (GPO)
From left to right; Knesset speaker Amir Ohana, Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Herzog, First Lady Herzog, IDF chief Herzl Halevi. Memorial Day, May 13 2024. Ma'ayan Toaf (GPO)

Israeli ministers were heckled while mourners ended up in a fight in one instance as tensions boiled over at military ceremonies across the country on Monday. 

This year’s Memorial Day is considered unprecedented in Israel’s history due to 7 October and the ongoing war in Gaza. Discussions about the attendance by certain ministers at ceremonies began weeks ago, with mourners calling on them to stay away.

At the Ashdod military cemetery ceremony, families shout “Get out of here, criminal. Trash, you haven’t been in the army for a minute,” at national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, which caused others to shout back at them.

“Shame on you traitorous leftists,” one person yelled back. The verbal fighting ended up getting physical inside the cemetery and continued outside as well, with police having to intervene.

“Say Kaddish for Israel! Look what has happened to us. Why disturb us? Fuck off. Look what you’ve come to,” another man yelled according to Times of Israel.

Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich was also confronted by upset families when he arrived at the military cemetery in Ofakim.

“Minister Smotrich should do everything to bring them back. Save those who live, that’s the duty. All of Kibbutz Nir Oz is still hostage. Bring back the living, after all, neither I nor you, God forbid, can know from whom the soul will be given,” said Einav, the mother of hostage Matan Zangauker.

Both Smotrich and Ben-Gvir have threatened with toppling Prime Minister Netanyahu if Israel agrees to a ceasefire-hostage deal with Hamas, causing great anger among families of hostages.

Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf was heckled by protesters shouting “shame” as he was speaking in Rehovot’s military cemetery.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the main Memorial Day event at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, as some attendees were seen leaving in protest.

“We are determined to win the fight, we have collected and will collect a heavy price from the enemy for its criminal actions. We will realise the goals of victory – and at the centre of them is the return of all our hostages home – but the price we pay is very heavy,” Netanyahu said.

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