Israelis have come to a two-minute standstill to remember fallen soldiers and victims of terror as the country marked Memorial Day, one of the most somber days on the Israeli calendar.

A siren rang out at 11 a.m. as motorists pulled over on the sides of highways and roads and pedestrians stopped in their tracks.

Israelis are attending remembrance ceremonies across the country Wednesday. Radio and television networks are broadcasting programs about battle and loss.

The melancholic atmosphere is to end abruptly at sundown, when Independence Day celebrations start.

This Memorial Day comes as Israel faces an eight month-long wave of Palestinian violence that has killed 28 Israelis. About 200 Palestinians have been killed. Israel says most of them have been attackers. The rest died in clashes with Israeli troops.