Israel reflected on Tuesday, in silence, prayer and tears in tribute to the victims of the unprecedented attack by Hamas a month ago, which traumatized Israel. the country.
On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem for the hostages and those missing since the October 7 attack by the Palestinian movement in southern Israel , near the Gaza Strip.
According to Israeli authorities, more than 240 people are still in the hands of Hamas. At least 1,400 people have died since October 7, the majority civilians killed on the day of the attack, according to Israeli authorities.
A flame has been lit and is expected to travel to different capitals around the world as long as the hostages were not released. “Bring them home now!” chanted participants at the rally at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray, located in East Jerusalem occupied and annexed by Israel.
< p>They held up portraits of their loved ones, young adults, but also children and even a 9-month-old baby.
The ceremony began with prayers and religious songs. It continued with calls to release these hostages.
“They have been in Gaza for 32 days!” said Rachel Goldberg, whose son Hersh was kidnapped during the music festival in the desert. “They need you, the leaders of the world, the leaders of Israel, to save their lives,” she said, her voice choked with emotion.
Already on Monday evening, 1,400 candles, bearing the names of the victims of the October 7 attack, were lit in front of the Western Wall.
A little earlier Tuesday, an unusual gathering took place took place in front of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem: around forty Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Muslims and Christians, observed 15 minutes of silence in memory of “all those who have died since the start of the war” .
One man intoned a prayer for the dead in Hebrew before another, a Christian, said a prayer: “Many people in this land that You call holy are in mourning.”
– ” Empty chair” –
This day of commemoration began in the morning, with a minute of silence, at 11:00 a.m. (09:00 GMT), in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and elsewhere in the country.
The “Empty Beds” installation, made up of 241 beds representing the number of hostages taken by Hamas during the October 7 attack, in front of the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, in Tel Aviv, November 7, 2023 © AFP – Jack GUEZ
On the tree-lined esplanade of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, more than a thousand people prayed together and sang the national anthem.
“The atrocities have left a terrible scar, trauma on a personal level but also on a national level,” said Asher Cohen, the president of the university.
At the microphone, the testimonies followed one another, interrupted by tears.
Shay Dickmann, a 28-year-old medical student, came to talk about her cousin, Carmel Gat, taken hostage on Kibbutz Beeri, which is located less than 5 kilometers from Palestinian territory. She should have returned to university in a month.
Photos of hostages kidnapped by Hamas, projected on a wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, November 6, 2023 © AFP – AHMAD GHARABLI
“In every classroom you enter, “Every time you see an empty chair, remember that Carmel could have been sitting there. But instead, she is in Gaza,” she told the gathering.
“Don’t let this reality become normal,” implored this student, dressed in a black T-shirt on which her cousin’s photo was printed.
Several dozen people also attended a ceremony at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, where candles were lit.
“I don't think there is a single person who is not affected by these horrible attacks,” said Sharon Balaban, an artist teacher at the school. “Everyone knows someone who has been injured, killed or impacted.”
Several other rallies took place across the country, and abroad.
In In response to the October 7 attack, Israel promised to “annihilate” Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The army is shelling the Palestinian territory, where more than 10,000 people, including more than 4,000 children, have been killed in a month of war, according to the Hamas health ministry.
All reproduction and representation rights reserved. © (2023) Agence France-Presse