SIXTH CHABAD HOUSE VICTIM WAS MEANT TO MAKE ALIYA THIS WEEK

The sixth victim of the terrorist attack on Mumbai’s Chabad House has been identified as Mexican citizen Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich, 50, according to Jewish Agency spokesperson Michael Jankelowitz.

In a statement released Sunday, the Jewish Agency said that Rabinovich was meant to make aliya on Monday, joining two of her children who had recently immigrated to Israel. She was traveling in India before her planned immigration.

Jewish Agency chairman Ze’ev Bielski was quoted in the statement as expressing “deep sorrow” upon Rabinovich’s death.

The Jewish Agency also decided to donate money to the families from a special fund which supports victims of terror attacks.

Earlier in the day, the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies, headed by Absorption Minister Yaakov Edri, decided to recognize the Israelis murdered in the Mumbai massacre as victims of terror attacks against an Israeli target, a move that will grant their families National Insurance Institute (NII) benefits.

Also Sunday, Army Radio reported that the number of Israelis unaccounted for in Mumbai had dropped to two, after contact was made with two Israelis thought to be missing.

Responding to the attack, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called it a “terrible act” which takes Jews back to the worst moments in their history.

“This terrible sight of Chabad House leaders wrapped in prayer shawls is shocking,” Olmert told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “These are pictures that bring us back to the moments in history which we had hoped would never return.”

“It seems that hatred of Jews and Israelis provides motivation for such murderous acts,” said Olmert.

The prime minister said the attacks were “the product of extremist Islam – brutal and unrestrained, which tries to sow death and destruction wherever it can.”

Olmert went on to emphasize there was “proper and correct cooperation between us and the relevant Indian authorities” throughout the ordeal, but he dismissed suggestions that Israel had been assisting with the commando rescue operation.

“At no stage were the issues of whether or not Israel should join the operation, or do things that were within the Indian government’s powers, on the agenda,” he said.

On Saturday, the worst fears of family members, desperate for news of their loved ones in the Chabad center, were realized, as the Foreign Ministry announced that the bodies of four Israelis and two Jews from other countries had been recovered from the building.

Five of the Chabad House victims had been named by press time as Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who ran the Chabad House; kashrut supervisor Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, a US citizen who lived in Jerusalem; Bentzion Chroman, an American-Israeli from Bat-Yam; and Yocheved Orpaz, of Givatayim, who had arrived in India to visit her daughter and two grandchildren.

Meanwhile, the sole surviving gunman from the Mumbai massacre, Azam Amir Kasab, told Indian police that the terrorists were sent with a specific mission of targeting Israelis at Chabad House in order to avenge atrocities committed against the Palestinians, the Times of India reported on Sunday.

A source told the newspaper that some of the other Islamic terrorists killed in the dramatic and drawn-out Indian commando raid on the building had actually stayed at the Chabad center, also known as Nariman House, as part of the planning for the brutal attack.

“They have stayed in Nariman House on a rental basis, identifying themselves as Malaysian students,” said the source, adding that police were investigating how Chabad House rooms were rented to non-Jews.

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