New Italian president remembers young Jewish victim of Rome terror attack

Marcy Oster

ROME (JTA) — New Italian President Sergio Mattarella, in his inaugural speech to Parliament, remembered a Jewish boy killed in a terrorist attack .

Mattarella, who was elected Sunday by the parliament, in his first speech before parliament Tuesday during his inauguration,  remembered Stefano Gaj Tache, a 2-year-old Jewish boy killed in an attack on the Great Synagogue of Rome carried out by Palestinian terrorists on Oct. 9, 1982.

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“Our country has paid, many times, in the not too distant past, the price of hatred and intolerance. I want to remember one name: Stefano Tache, killed in the cowardly terrorist attack on the synagogue in Rome in October 1982. He was only two years. It was our boy, an Italian boy,” Mattarella said.

The attack took place during the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret and at the end of synagogue services. Armed Palestinian militants waited until they saw people at the entrance to the synagogue and started shooting grenades at the crowd.

Stefano was killed after being hit by shrapnel. Another 37 civilians were injured.

The fight against terrorism must be carried out with firmness, intelligence, and good judgment and the state must guarantee its citizens the right to lead a peaceful life without fear, Mattarella also said in his speech.