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Israel Buries Jewish Victims of Mumbai Attack

  • Luis Ramirez

The bodies of six Jews killed in the attack on a Jewish center in Mumbai are being laid to rest in Israel. Memorial services took place as Israel tries to try to contain public criticism of the way Indian commandos handled the raid on the Chabad House in Mumbai. VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Jerusalem.

The bodies of six Jewish victims arrived in flag-drapped coffins aboard an Israeli air force plane, late Monday. Also on board, two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg, the son of slain Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka - both of whose bodies were being buried at Jerusalem's Mount of Olives, Tuesday.

Thousands of people attended funeral services.

Shneu Holzberg, the cousin of the late Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, told Israeli radio his grief is overwhelming.

He says he cannot sleep, and the pain is very strong. He says he is praying for the pain to go away soon.

The attacks on the Chabad Jewish center in Mumbai have been a grim reminder for Israelis of the security threats that they continue to face around the world.

Along with grief, there is anger among some Israelis. Newspapers here have been carrying stories of public outrage, with some accusing India of mishandling rescue efforts.

The head of Israel's disaster victim identification group - a non-government agency, ZAKA - was quoted this week as saying Indian commandos may have killed some of the Jewish victims at the Chabad house in Mumbai.

The Israeli government has refrained from criticizing India and has blasted ZAKA and others for making what it says have been irresponsible comments. On Tuesday, Israeli foreign ministry officials said ZAKA and others are jeopardizing Israel's relations with India by suggesting Indian forces mishandled the assault in Mumbai.