26/11 Mumbai attacks: Israelis pay respects to victims, demand justice for them
Jerusalem, Nov 26: Israelis are holding ceremonies to pay respects to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, demanding that the perpetrators of the carnage be brought to justice and condemning "Pakistan-sponsored terrorism".
Israelis, and Indian students and caregivers paid respects to the victims in Jerusalem, Rehovot and Tel Aviv on Wednesday and ceremonies are planned in Beersheva and Eilat on Thursday.
A virtual ceremony on Zoom is also planned for Thursday at 8 PM Israel time (11:30 PM IST). Hundreds have registered to take part in the event. "Israel opposes every country that provides financial and logistical support to terrorists. Peaceful countries should come together to boycott diplomatically and financially those countries that support terrorism. This will help deter acts of terror," Isaac Solomon from the southern Israeli coastal city said.
"It is a matter of pride for us Israelis to have a peaceful country like India as our friend. We pray that our friendship continues to grow strong," the octogenarian said.
Ten terrorists of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. At least 166 people, including six Jews at the Chabad House and nine terrorists, were killed and over 300 others were injured in the attacks which began on November 26, 2008.
Israelis in Eilat have requested that a memorial square be built for the victims of the Mumbai attacks. "We have spoken to the Mayor of Eilat, Meir Itzhak Ha Levi, to set up a Memorial for the victims of Mumbai attacks.
The Mayor said that he is on the committee which decides about street and square issues. He will be very happy to help," representatives of the Sitar Organisation for Immigrant Jews in Eilat said.
"In addition, he suggested to even set up an India-Israel friendship square or Mahatma Gandhi Square where a memorial stone for the victims of Mumbai attacks could also be placed," they said.
The Chabad Movement's Synagogue in the city will put up a plaque on Thursday in the memory of six Jewish victims. The Telangana Association of Israel organised an interfaith ceremony to pay respects to the victims of 26/11.
A Jewish Rabbi, a Hindu priest, a Christian pastor and a Sikh priest recited prayers in the memory of those who were killed in the attacks and for peace. "We believe in peace but shouldn't bow down to terror. Our policy of zero tolerance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a welcome change," association president Ravi Soma said.
Some 20 people from Telangana working in Israel gathered in Ramat Gan, next to Tel Aviv, as per permission granted to them in view of the coronavirus pandemic. They carried posters and lit candles to pay respects to the victims of "the most heinous act of terror on Indian soil".