Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wished Israelis and his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on the occasion of Hanukkah. “May this holiday bring peace, hope and light in everyone’s lives,” the Prime Minister wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in Hebrew.
Hanukkah is a Jewish festival celebrated to commemorate the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean revolt. The festival lasts eight nights and features candle lighting and frying of foods in oil, as traditions tell of a miracle that oil found to fuel a ceremonial lamp was only enough for one day, but it burned for eight.
Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. This year, the festival will be celebrated from December 7 to 15.
In Israel, it is the first Jewish festival being celebrated since October 7, when Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack and killed around 1,200 people. At least 240 people were also abducted by Hamas and taken to Gaza.
Of the 240, more than 100 hostages – largely women, children and non-Israelis – have been released.
In retaliation for the October 7 attack, Israel mounted a devastating ground offensive in Gaza that has killed more than 15,000 people, according to figures from Palestinian health officials.