Israel Air Force Salutes Healthcare Workers

Annual air shows canceled, but Israelis still found ways to celebrate Independence Day

Israel Air Force Salutes Healthcare Workers
Eitan Elhadaz/TPS

Israel’s iconic Independence Day air shows were canceled. The government determined that the annual spectacle would present too much of a temptation for Israelis to violate coronavirus restrictions and gather in public venues.

The Israel Air Force (IAF) decided instead to honor the nation’s healthcare workers with flyovers of major hospitals across the country.

Israel Air Force flyover of Tel Hashomer Hospital.

Israel Air Force planes fly over as doctors and nurses from Tel Hashomer Hospital wave flags.

Last week, Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin, the current commander of the IAF, published a video clip noting that under usual circumstances, his forces are on the frontlines of the crises faced by Israel. 

In the battle against COVID-19, however, it’s the nation’s doctors, nurses and medics who are the frontline troops, and Gen. Norkin felt it was important to honor them just as the nation honors his soldiers in times of war.

IAF commander Amikam Norkin at Tel Hashomer Hospital.

Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin with the staff of Tel Hashomer Hospital as his pilots fly overhead.

Below are additional photos of Independence Day celebrations in Israel in the shadow of the coronavirus. As you can see, even a global pandemic can’t dampen the spirits of the indomitable Israelis.

Independence Day fireworks.

An Israeli couple enjoys a fireworks display near Tel Aviv from their balcony.

Israel Independence Day.

The Old City walls of Jerusalem are lit up with the words “Celebrating Independence.”

Israel Independence Day.

The streets were uncharacteristically empty, but that doesn’t mean Israelis weren’t celebrating.

Israel Independence Day

Tel Aviv City Hall lit up like the Israeli flag, while police officers make sure crowds don’t gather in Rabin Square.

Israel Independence Day

Culture Minister Miri Regev preparing for the main Independence Day event, which this year was performed before an empty stadium, but was streamed live to Israelis trapped in their homes.