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Remembrance Day for the October 7
Disaster and the Swords of Iron War

Or Shaked, May 9, 2024

Establishment of the Holiday

The Remembrance Day for the October 7 Disaster and the Swords of Iron War (Heb. יום זיכרון לאומי במדינת ישראל לאירועי ה-7 באוקטובר 2023 ומלחמת חרבות ברזל) is the day Israel commemorates the tragic events and the victims of October 7th, 2023, and its aftermath, including those who fell in the war and civilians who were murdered in acts of terrorism.

The Knesset adopted a resolution on March 17, 2024, to remember the Hamas massacre of October 7, 2023. Although such a tragic event would normally be commemorated on the day it occurred on the Gregorian calendar (even the name of the memorial day refers to October 7, 2023), the Knesset decided the Remembrance Day should be observed on the 24th of Tishrei (כ"ד בתשרי), consistent with Israel’s usual practice of marking holidays on Hebrew dates. In this case, because the attacks occurred during the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, which fall on the 22nd and 23rd (abroad) of Tishrei, the next day on the calendar was chosen for the memorial day.

The decision was controversial because October 7 is the date most people remember and therefore was considered more appropriate.

In addition to the annual national remembrance day marked on the Hebrew date, a state ceremony will also be held, but only on the first anniversary, on October 7, 2024. In subsequent years, the 24th of Tishrei will be observed in Israel as the national remembrance day for the events of the October 7 Disaster and the Swords of Iron War.

Sources: “Government Unanimously Approves National Remembrance Day for October 7 Disaster and the Swords of Iron War,“ Israel Prime Minister’s Office, (March 17, 2024).
“Establishing the annual national memorial events to commemorate the Swords of Iron War (provisional name) and amending a government decision,“ Israel Prime Minister’s Office, (March 17, 2024) [Hebrew].
Ben Sales, “Israel establishes an annual commemoration of the Oct. 7 attack — but not on Oct. 7,“ The Jerusalem Post, (March 18, 2024).