Five hostages have been found murdered at the Chabad House in Mumbai, including Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, and his wife, Rivka (New York Times November 28, 2008):
In a news conference broadcast Friday on Israeli radio, Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister said: “We know that the targets there that were sought out by the terrorists were Jewish and Israeli targets as well as targets that are perceived as Western targets — American and British.”
She added: “We need to understand that there’s a world here, our world, that has been attacked. And it doesn’t matter if it’s happened in India or somewhere else. We have here radical Islamic elements who do not accept either our existence or the values of the Western world. And only when incidents of this sort occur is it suddenly understood from conversations with leaders from around the entire world that we are actually party to the same battle.”
A doctor examining the bodies of the hostages remarked “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood”:
“Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said.
Corroborating the doctors’ claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. “During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis,” an IB source said.
It is also said that the Israeli hostages were killed on the first day as keeping them hostage for too long would have focused too much international attention. “They also might have feared the chances of Israeli security agencies taking over the operations at the Nariman House,” he reasoned.
- Slain Rabbi’s only concern was helping Jews away from home Reuters. November 28, 2008:
“After he got married he was looking to make an impact in the world, in the Jewish world, and in his case reach out to people who are really, really far away both literally and spiritually from their roots,” said Rabbi Berel Wolvovsky of Maryland, a childhood friend of Gavriel Holtzberg.
“His fears were not fears of terrorism. His fears were of maybe not being able to help as many people as he’d like.”
- ‘They made the ultimate sacrifice’, by Allison Hoffman Jerusalem Post November 28, 2008.