Israel to hold annual remembrance day for October 7 victims

Cabinet approves plan for memorial two days after Simchat Torah every year


BEIT GUVRIN, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 31: Family members and friends attend the funeral of Yossi Vahab, who was killed during Hamas' attack on Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 31, 2023 in Beit Guvrin, Israel. More than three weeks since Hamas's Oct 7 attacks in Israel, which killed 1,400 according to Israeli authorities, just over half have now been laid to rest, and over four-fifths have been identified. Volunteers continue to identify victims at the country's Shura military facility. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

The Israeli cabinet has approved the observation of a national day of remembrance for the victims of the October 7 massacre and those who died in battle since.

It will be held annually on the 24th of the Hebrew month of Tishrei.

The chosen date is two days after the festival of Simchat Torah, which is when the attack occurred.

The annual memorial will be marked by ceremonies at military bases and other sites of war to honour the memory of servicemen and women who fell during Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas as well as the civilians whose lives were taken on October 7.

According to a report by the Times of Israel, the idea for a day of remembrance was initiated by a mixture of coalition and opposition members of the Knesset at the end of October.

One of those spearheading the idea, Labour party MK Naama Lazimi, said at the time that the October 7 massacre was “the hardest day the country has known and one of the hardest known by the Jewish people.”

She added: “So many were murdered and lost their lives in the attack and the terrible disaster. Such a memorial day will give us all an opportunity to remember the murdered and hear the great stories of heroism of those who defended the country with their lives. I hope that the law will be widely accepted.”

The Knesset also agreed to hold a one-time ceremony of remembrance on October 7 of this year.

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