Middle East

Israel marks somber Memorial Day for fallen soldiers

  • An Israeli soldier visits the grave of his friend on the Memorial Day eve commemorating fallen soldiers, at the military cemetery at Mount Hertzl in 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 visits the grave of his friend on the Memorial Day eve commemorating fallen soldiers, at the military cemetery at Mount Hertzl in 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 scouts light torches during a Memorial Day ceremony, commemorating fallen soldiers, at the military cemetery at Mount Hertzl in 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)

    Israeli scouts light torches during a Memorial Day ceremony, commemorating fallen soldiers, at the military cemetery at Mount Hertzl in 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)

  • An Israeli soldier take part in rehearsal for  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 take part in rehearsal for 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)

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.