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April 16, 2013 7:41 pm

IDF Chief Gantz Celebrates Independence Day With Dina Aliyev

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Screen shot of Dina Aliyev meeting Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Photo: Channel 2.

A moving moment marked the top of Tuesday morning’s “Singing Independence” ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. Chief of Staff Lt. Benny Gantz spent a few moments meeting with Dina Aliyev, a member of the IDF who has cerebral palsy. The two talked for a few moments and thanked one another for the opportunity.

The event  honored 120 outstanding soldiers and officers, and commenced with an honorary flyover by IAF helicopters. The soldiers were selected for meaningful service and extraordinary contribution to the IDF and the State of Israel.

Gantz told those in attendance: “The real Iron Dome is this wonderful group [of soldiers] that is here today at the President’s Residence. This group represents the leading doers, the elite.”

President Shimon Peres also spoke and praised the soldiers, saying, “you are Israel’s army of peace! Without you, Israel would not have been safe. With you, Israel will know peace.”

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Watch a video of Chief of Staff Lt. Benny Gantz meeting Dina Aliyev below (Hebrew-only):

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