Israeli Officials Light Hanukkah Menorahs at Western Wall as Victim of Palestinian Gunman Honored
i24 News – In a ceremony at the Western Wall, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz lit menorahs to mark the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday.
The eight-day Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE, following a successful revolt by the Jewish Maccabees in Judea against the Seleucid Empire.
“It is very emotional to light the first candle in the Western Wall tunnels,” Bennett shared on his Facebook page.
“Hanukkah is a holiday of miracles, and we, the citizens of the State of Israel who live in the State of Israel, are the miracle workers.”
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, an administrative body tasked with managing the religious site, said that candle-lighting events taking place there were dedicated to Eli Kay.
Kay, a 26-year-old Israeli, was killed by a Hamas-linked gunman during a shooting in Jerusalem’s Old City last week.
The assailant, a Palestinian man identified as Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, was shot dead by Israel’s security forces.
Four other people were wounded during the incident, including two Israeli police officers.
In the West Bank city of Hebron, from within the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Israel’s president also marked the first night of Hanukkah with a separate candle lighting ceremony.