Israeli flyover salutes hospitals on Independence Day

Air Force planes saluted doctors and other health care workers, flying over hospitals throughout Israel on Independence Day.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Military jets are a classic part of Independence Day celebrations in Israel. But this year, on the Jewish state’s 72nd year of celebrations, a reduced flight of four Air Force propeller planes saluted doctors and other health care workers by flying over hospitals throughout the country.

As of Wednesday morning, the planes had already flown over medical centers in the Central District, including Wolfson Hospital in Holon, Tel HaShomer in Ramat Gan, and Ichilov in Tel Aviv. By late afternoon, they will fly over hospitals from as far north as HaGalil Hospital in Nahariya to Yoseftal Hospital in Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city.

The four planes conducting the flyover drew a heart and other shapes with their contrails in the sky.

President Reuven Rivlin thanked the Air Force on social media, writing, “We salute you, keepers of the walls of Israel. Thank you for the powerful demonstration and the moving gesture on behalf of all the citizens of Israel, the medical and emergency teams who are on our health watch with endless dedication. Happy Independence Day, Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Officers.”

Some people complained on social media that the display was an unnecessary use of public funds, when one million Israeli citizens are currently out of work.

Yesterday, during a practice run, an Air Force commander spoke to Ynet about criticism from the public regarding this year’s show.

The commander said, “This is a special year and we now have the opportunity to show and demonstrate a sense of mutual respect and solidarity between the IDF, which is the army of the people, and the medical and emergency teams. It is a privilege to do this year’s display and show the special values ​​of these people.”

The Air Force clarified that no additional funds were allocated for this year’s show, as the display is considered a part of pilot training and skill retention.