Tribute to the French victims of October 7: what we know about the ceremony

This Wednesday, February 7, a national tribute must be paid to the French victims of the attack perpetrated by Hamas in Israel four months ago.

Tribute to the French victims of October 7: what we know about the ceremony

This Wednesday, February 7, a national tribute must be paid to the French victims of the attack perpetrated by Hamas in Israel four months ago. Families and many politicians will be present.

More than 1,140 people lost their lives in the attack perpetrated by Hamas in Israel on October 7, among them 42 were French or Franco-Israeli. This Wednesday, February 7, four months to the day after the deadly offensive, a national tribute must be paid to these French victims as well as to the six wounded French people, the four French Hamas hostages who were released and the three compatriots “always missing and presumed hostages,” announced the Elysée.

The Republican ceremony will take place at the Hôtel National des Invalides, in Paris, from 1 p.m. The President of the Republic will lay a wreath at the monument in memory of the victims of terrorism before the national tribute to the victims of Hamas. Emmanuel Macron will speak during the ceremony placed "under the universal sign of the fight against anti-Semitism and through it (...) all forms of hatred, racism and oppression towards minorities".

The tribute to the French victims will be held in front of 1,000 people, including 150 representatives of the victims' families. Most of them came from Israel on a special flight chartered for the occasion. The ceremony being national and republican, the Head of State, the First Lady and members of the government will be present. The presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate, Yaël Braun-Pivet and Gérard Larcher, as well as all the leaders of political parties were also invited as required by the protocol in force since 1989. "It is up to the said parties to decide, in conscience, what is fair and elegant" added the Elysée. A message especially addressed to the elected representatives of rebellious France whose arrival is not well received by the families of the victims.

A family group also sent a letter to Emmanuel Macron to ask that the presence of rebellious France be “banned” at the ceremony. The positions of the left party towards the parties to the conflict between Israel and Gaza have been the subject of heated controversy. In particular, elected officials have always refused to qualify the Hamas attack as a terrorist act.

The Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, and the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, were invited to the event, but will not be present, officially detained by current events.

The 42 French victims of the Hamas attack, as well as the six injured French people, the four freed hostages and the three victims still missing are in the spotlight. At the start of the ceremony, the portraits of each of these victims, bearing only the first name and age of the person, will be transported and placed in the main courtyard of Les Invalides. With these portraits, “France will pay homage to its children” insisted the Elysée. As many of the victims were of Jewish faith, Maurice Ravel's Kaddish, a Hebrew music by the French composer, could be played to accompany the procession of portraits. The national anthem is also expected to be sung. The President of the Republic will deliver a speech in memory of the French victims of the October 7 attack.

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