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Bnei Menashe Jewish community of India

7 Killed in Rocket Strike on Synagogue in India

Seven members of the Bnei Menashe Jewish community of India were killed when a rocket struck a synagogue in Manipur, the Knesset Diaspora Affairs Committee announced Tuesday, January 2.

The rocket strike is not believed to have been deliberately targeted at the synagogue of the Bnei Menashe community. However, the death toll underscores the vulnerability of the community and the importance of facilitating their Aliyah to Israel, the committee members stated.

Committee chairman MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) called on the Aliyah and Integration Ministry to make bringing Bnei Menashe refugees to Israel a priority and criticized the ministry for failing to do so following the outbreak of the Kuki-Meitei conflict in May 2023, which led to the displacement of many Bnei Menashe.

“We have been asking the government ministries for six months and are not getting any answers,” he said. MK Pnina Tamano-Shata (National Unity Party) also accused the government of “dragging its feet” in assisting the Bnei Menashe community.

Michal Willer Tal, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Southeast Asia desk, told the committee on Tuesday that the Bnei Menashe community is not being targeted for its members’ Jewish faith, but is in danger due to the wider ethnic conflict in the region. She advised that Israel’s involvement in the Aliah process be kept “low profile” due to the potential for causing diplomatic problems with the Indian government. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we pray for the families of the Jewish community members who died in the explosion. We ask that You bring them comfort and that You help them cherish the memories of their loved ones. We pray that You will protect the Jewish community from any attack, whether intentional or not, and that we will all be able to live peacefully and cordially with each other, regardless of our country of residence.”