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Israel commemorates October 7 attack in silence and tears

Israel briefly fell silent on Tuesday in tribute to the victims of the unprecedented Hamas attack exactly one month ago.

On the esplanade of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, more than a thousand people, mainly students and professors, observed a minute of silence, prayed and sang the national anthem.

"The atrocities have left a terrible scar, trauma on a personal level, but also on a national level," said Asher Cohen, president of the university, which counts several graduates among the victims. "But there is hope, there will be a rebirth," he added.

A teacher who showed the photo of his son and his girlfriend, murdered by Hamas commandos. "They believed in peace," he said.

In the worst attack since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed by Hamas commandos, who also kidnapped some 240 people. The operation triggered an intense war in the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas, which has claimed more than 10,300 lives in that territory, including thousands of children, according to the Islamist movement's Ministry of Health.

Mayaan, 38, who lost his parents in a kibbutz attacked by Hamas, says it is hard to see the "devastating" images of death and destruction coming from Gaza. "It unnerves me when people say 'I'm pro-Palestinian' or 'I'm pro-Israeli," the woman says, her voice heavy with pain, asking that her last name not be published.

"I am self-righteous. My parents would have said the same thing," says this employee of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Dozens attended a ceremony at that academy, where candles were lit and "Hatikvah," the national anthem, which means "hope" in Hebrew, was sung with emotion.

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