Marking one month since the worst attack in the history of the Jewish state, Israelis across the country took part in vigils, memorial gatherings, prayers and protests as the nation continues to grapple with the devastating massacre.
Around 1,400 people were murdered in southern Israel after Hamas terrorists stormed across the border in the early hours of October 7, rampaged through communities near Gaza and mowed down partygoers at a music festival, also taking at least 245 people captive.
As the nation mourns its losses, many families still do not have closure, with the bodies of only 736 civilians and 348 members of security forces cleared for burial as of Monday.
Authorities say that another 100 bodies have been identified, and further remains are in the process of being identified, while dozens of Israelis are still considered “missing,” without any confirmation from the IDF that they are captive.
In Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and around the country, mourners gathered to mark the somber anniversary, with large commemorations held in Eilat and the Dead Sea, where many of the survivors from the hardest-hit towns and kibbutzim have been staying since they were rescued.
Throughout the day, many locales, including the Knesset, held moments of silence to memorialize the dead.
A large vigil was held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, praying for the release of the hostages and commemorating those whose lives were brutally cut short.
Attendees prayed, cried and sang as they gathered at the holy site in the Old City of the capital, lighting a “torch of life” as a memorial.
Commemorations were also held outside the Knesset, with some also using the occasion to protest against the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demand his and its resignation.
Maoz Yinon, whose parents Bilha and Yaakov were killed in Netiv Ha’asara, took the stage at the brief event and vowed to sit in a tent outside the Knesset until the government falls: “I call on all of Israel to come and be with us, to join us on the journey of building new hope and equality.”
At Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv, people lit candles and left photos of their killed and captive loved ones in a somber vigil.
At Habima Square in the city, thousands gathered to mark the occasion, standing around an installation of hundreds of beds and cribs symbolizing the hostages, watching a ceremony screened on the outer wall of the national theater.
Outside the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, demonstrators used stuffed animals and dolls to represent the captives, as protesters demanded government action to bring their loved ones home.
In practically every city nationwide, residents gathered to mark the solemn date, as Israel continues to wage its challenging battle against Hamas in Gaza.
All the national TV networks also aired special programming marking a month since the massacre.
Thousands gathered in the southernmost city of Eilat, which has seen its ranks swell with an enormous influx of evacuees, for a ceremony that included the recitation of the Yizkor prayer, the singing of “Hatikvah,” the national anthem, the lighting of a memorial torch and lowering the flag to half-mast.
Jessica Steinberg and AFP contributed to this report.