Middle East

Israel stops to honor fallen soldiers and terror victims

  • A woman waters flowers by grave of a fallen soldier on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, April 30, 2017. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Sunday until Monday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    A woman waters flowers by grave of a fallen soldier on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, April 30, 2017. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Sunday until Monday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Israeli soldiers holds flowers to be placed on a graves of fallen soldiers on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, April 30, 2017. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Sunday until Monday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    An Israeli soldiers holds flowers to be placed on a graves of fallen soldiers on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, April 30, 2017. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Sunday until Monday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man stands by the grave of a fallen soldier on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, April 30, 2017. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Sunday until Monday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    A man stands by the grave of a fallen soldier on the eve of memorial Day in Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, April 30, 2017. Israel marks the annual Memorial Day in remembrance of soldiers who died in the nation's conflicts, beginning at dusk Sunday until Monday evening. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

Israel is honoring its fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism on its annual Memorial Day.

Sirens wailed across the country at 8 p.m. Sunday prompting Israelis to stop in their tracks and stand silently with heads bowed for a minute to remember the dead.

It is one of the most somber dates on Israel's calendar. People visit cemeteries and attend ceremonies. Places of entertainment shut and TV and radio stations air war stories and melancholy music.

It comes amid a wave of Palestinian attacks that killed 42 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student since 2015.

In that time, Israeli forces killed some 244 Palestinians, mostly identified as attackers by Israel.

The sad atmosphere of the day ends abruptly at sundown Monday when in jarring contrast Independence Day celebrations begin.