French Government Commemorates Fallen French Citizens from October 7 Massacre in Israel (Photos)

By BJLife Israel Newsroom
Posted on 02/07/24

Macron stands up to pressure; photos of each victim go up at Invalides, Paris

Jerusalem, February 7 – The Government of France held a national ceremony today in tribute to 42 French nationals who were injured or killed by Hamas on October 7th in Israel. The ceremony was held at Les Invalides in Paris 4 months after the Hamas invasion. It was also live-streamed and screened at “Hostage Square” in Tel Aviv.

Around a hundred Franco-Israelis, representing some 30 families, landed in Paris via two special flights to attend the national tribute. Organized by Les Invalides, the ceremony is being led by President Macron "under the universal sign of the fight against anti-Semitism and through it all forms of hatred, racism, and oppression towards minorities." Each victim will be represented by a photograph with their name in the Les Invalides courtyard.

In addition to the 42 Franco-Israelis killed on October 7th, the ceremony paid tribute to six injured French citizens, four freed French Hamas hostages, and three who are "still missing and presumed hostages," the Elysée announced.

President Emmanuel Macron has been criticized for his statements since the October 7 massacre and for not leading the “March Against Antisemitism” in Paris on November 12.

“This is an important and positive gesture, one we must focus on,” said Orelia Bliah, head of the French-speaking branch of OneFamily, Israel’s national organization dedicated to victims of terrorism and their families. “This ceremony deeply moved the families.“

Bliah accompanied the entire delegation, along with OneFamily CEO Chantal Belzberg, during the trip to Paris and has been doing so since their first day of mourning their loved ones. “I must say that France has been extremely present alongside its victims of terror attacks in Israel, setting an example others should follow.” Advocating for the families, Ms. Bliah worked with French volunteers and through contacts in the French government to ensure that the families were given the assistance and official recognition they deserved.

“The French government has been generous in helping victims of terror and war for as long as I can remember,” said CEO Belzberg, a native French speaker who is originally from Belgium. “I haven’t seen this kind of nobility and kindness from any other country in the world for their overseas citizens.”

The Israeli participants flew as France’s guests, bringing their children. Bereaved parents wore shirts with pictures of their children, and many relatives residing in France also participated.

 “The government of France flew the delegation here, hosted everyone in a beautiful hotel, and took great care with security, which was a major concern. Macron has met with each family separately.” Belzberg explained.  

 “It was a very impressive and moving ceremony, We applaud President Macron and sincerely hope that other countries around the world follow France’s example.”