The Israeli Minister of Transport and Road Safety, Miri Regev, paid tribute to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks at Mumbai’s Nariman House on Monday. After laying flowers at a column raised in memory of the 26/11 victims, the minister also interacted with members of the Indian Jewish community at the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks to have been perpetrated on Indian soil, 10 members of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba infiltrated India’s commercial capital by the sea on the night of November 26, 2008, opening fire on unarmed civilians at some prominent public spaces across Mumbai. Over the course of four days, they killed 166 people, mostly civilians and foreigners, and left another 300 injured. One of the locations targeted by the terrorists was the Nariman House, also known as the Chabad House in Mumbai. The attack on the Jewish installation in the city claimed the lives of four Israeli citizens.
Addressing media persons after presiding over the sombre wreath-laying ceremony, the minister claimed that the 26/11 claimed innocent civilian lives regardless of their religion. “Here, people were killed, regardless of their religion. They butchered Hindus, Muslims, Christians and, of course, six Jewish people. I am not surprised that this memorial stands as a symbol of the war on terror. The memorial has the names of all the victims of the 2008 Munbai terror attacks inscribed on it. People across faiths were mindlessly murdered in the brutal terror attacks,” the minister said.
Describing the ongoing Israeli military offensive in Gaza as a war on terrorists who slaughtered civilians, including women and children, on October 7 last year, the minister added that the operation against Hamas will be unsparing and the Jewish hostages will be rescued. “Since October 7, Israel has been waging a war on terror–against Hamas and Daesh (another name for ISIS), that slaughtered our children, raped women, and killed the elderly on the ground of being Jewish people.
We will fight these terrorists and exact a heavy price for the killings they perpetrated on our soil,” Regev added. “Last night, Israeli special units secured the release of two more hostages. However, another 134 still remain in Hamas captivity. Israel will secure their release through steps in accordance with international laws and conventions. Be it talks or the use of force, we’ll use all options at our disposal to bring all hostages back home.
That’s our commitment to the people…our mission. It’s what defines us…it’s part of our DNA,” she affirmed. Last year, Israel proscribed the Laskhar-e-Taiba, in a move that came 15 years after the Mumbai terror attacks. A press release issued by the Israeli embassy said Tel Aviv had listed Lashkar-e-Taiba as a ‘terror organisation’ to mark the “15th year of commemoration of the Mumbai terror attacks”. “Despite not being requested by the Government of India to do so, the state of Israel has formally completed all necessary procedures and has satisfied all required checks and regulations to the result of introducing Lashkar-e-Taiba into the Israeli list of illegal terror organisations,” read the press note.
Earlier, on Monday, Israel Defence Minister Yoav Gallant hailed the “impressive rescue operation” during which two hostages were freed from Hamas captivity in Gaza, the Times of Israel reported. The overnight rescue, amid air strikes, marked the second such operation of its kind since the October 7 attacks. Detailing the rescue operation in Gaza’s southern Rafah neighbourhood, Israel Defence Force (IDF) spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said it was a joint operation of the IDF with Shin Bet security service and the Special Police Unit.