Middle East

Israel honors fallen soldiers on annual Memorial Day

  • An Israeli soldier takes part in during a rehearsal for a ceremony to mark Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers at the Mount of Olives cemetery in east Jerusalem, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Israel will mark the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Tuesday until Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

    An Israeli soldier takes part in during a rehearsal for a ceremony to mark Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers at the Mount of Olives cemetery in east Jerusalem, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Israel will mark the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Tuesday until Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

  • A group of tourists overlook Jerusalem's Old City during preparation for a ceremony to mark Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers at the Mount of Olives cemetery in east Jerusalem, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Israel will mark the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Tuesday until Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

    A group of tourists overlook Jerusalem's Old City during preparation for a ceremony to mark Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers at the Mount of Olives cemetery in east Jerusalem, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Israel will mark the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Tuesday until Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli soldiers salute after placing small flags on the grave of fallen soldiers on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Tuesday until Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    Israeli soldiers salute after placing small flags on the grave of fallen soldiers on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Tuesday until Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

Israel has begun its annual Memorial Day commemoration for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

Sirens wailed Tuesday night across Israel, bringing the country to a standstill. Israelis stopped in their tracks at 8 p.m. and stood silently for a minute to honor and remember the dead.

It's one of the most somber dates on the Israeli calendar. Places of entertainment shut down. Radio and TV stations air documentaries about wars.

The melancholic atmosphere ends sharply at sundown Wednesday when independence day celebrations begin.

The country is marking Memorial Day amid an eight month-long wave of Palestinian violence that has killed 28 Israelis and two Americans. About 200 Palestinians have been killed, most said by Israel to have been attackers while the rest were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.