In July 2014, the government of Israel announced that the Hebrew calendar date 17 Kislev shall be recognized as the annual Casualties of War and Terror Appreciation Day.
The establishment of Appreciation Day was inspired by a local activity initiated by a youth organization leader in the southern Israeli town of Yerucham a number of years ago. The successful initiative spread and due to the public, moral, educational and ethical significance of this issue, the government of Israel decided to expand the initiative throughout the country and to declare the national Casualties of War and Terror Appreciation Day.
More than 100,000 Israelis are casualties of war and acts of terror. Due to their injuries, these citizens face numerous challenges, disabilities and difficulties on a daily basis.
The State of Israel enacted the Veterans with Disabilities Law of 1959 and the Benefits for Victims of Hostile Acts Law of 1970 to provide medical care, compensation and benefits and to assist with the general wellbeing of the injured.
In 2014, the Israeli government decided to add another, symbolic, dimension to the State's commitment to and appreciation of this population by establishing the annual Appreciation Day.
The date set for this day, 17 Kislev, is the date on which the United Nations General Assembly declared an end to the British Mandate in Eretz Israel and the establishment of the Jewish State (November 29, 1947). The selection of this date symbolizes the connection between the circumstances of the soldiers' and civilians' injuries and the establishment of Israel and ensuring of its security.
Two national events are held on Appreciation Day:
- An event attended by the President of Israel.
- The Knesset marks the occasion.
Educational activities are also conducted in schools and by youth organizations, including gatherings of students with people who sustained injuries in war or acts of terror. In addition, gatherings for the disabled are held at the Ministry of Defense Disabled Rehabilitation Division's regional branches and events are conducted by he Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization, by the Terror Victims Association and by local municipal authorities, as well as para-sports competitions and more.
Office of the Prime Minister