Utah Israel community hosts vigil for victims of Be’eri massacre at state capitol

Oct 15, 2023, 10:10 PM | Updated: 10:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — On Sunday night, local Israelis and community members lighted candles in memory of the more than 100 Israeli citizens killed at what is being called Israel’s “ground zero.”

“We just wanted to have a little space together as a community to honor the people who were murdered in our country this week. A hundred of them were buried today in Kibbutz Beeri, which is one of the places that got the most horrific slaughter,” said Yifat Gohar Levenstein of the Jewish Federation of Utah.

The Flag of Israel projected on the steps of Utah's capitol.

The Flag of Israel projected on the steps of Utah’s capitol. (KSL TV)

The federation passed out flyers stating the names of people who were kidnapped and kept hostage by the Hamas militants.

The group said they wanted to humanize this war and want the public to know the names of those who were captured.

“We want to raise awareness of the hostages that are still kept hostage, the women and children and elderly,” Levenstein said.

Utahn Palestinians respond

Across the street, there were Palestinians who said they felt compelled to attend the vigil after seeing the Utah capitol lit up in blue and white.

“We came here to represent the voice that doesn’t exist in this narrative to represent lives. People are dying, they have no one to talk to, they have gatherings that are not on that scale, and their life is not as appreciated,” said Omar Ayman, a Free Palestine supporter.

A State of Palestine flag being waved as the Flag of Israel is projected on the capitol steps.

A State of Palestine flag being waved as the Flag of Israel is projected on the capitol steps. (KSL TV)

Ayman said his group wants to stop the genocide in Gaza and give a voice to those civilians who have been left with nothing.

“You would never see this for Palestinians, so the least we can do is show up and give these people a voice. I didn’t even know that was happening,” he said.

The conflict

On Oct. 7, the Hamas militant group launched an attack on Israel by firing thousands of rockets and deploying troops.

Hamas military commander Muhammad Al-Deif called the operation “Al-Aqsa Storm” and said that the assault on Israel was a response to attacks on women, the desecration of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and the ongoing siege of Gaza.

The next day, Israel launched “Operation Swords of Iron,” striking a number of targets in the Gaza strip. Netanyahu said Israel’s response to the Hamas incursion will “exact a huge price” from the group.


KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

emergency lights...

Mark Jones

Man taken into custody for alleged assaults at Cathedral of the Madeleine

A 31-year-old man was arrested Sunday after he allegedly began assaulting random people duing Sunday service at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

5 hours ago

Taylorsville police said Sunday a 35-year-old man drowned in the swimming pool of an apartment comp...

Mark Jones

Man dies after drowning in swimming pool at Taylorsville apartment complex

Taylorsville police said a 35-year-old male drowned Sunday.

6 hours ago


Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Layton man charged with killing his father now charged with threatening puppy owner

A Layton man charged this month with brutally killing his father now faces an additional criminal charge after police say he threatened to kill a man selling puppies the day before his father was found dead.

7 hours ago

A paraglider was injured and taken to the hospital after crashing in Washington County on Sunday, M...

Mary Culbertson

Paraglider injured after crashing in Washington County

A paraglider was injured after crashing near Blue Springs Reservoir in Washington County.

12 hours ago

FILE - Police lights (Ray Boone, KSL TV)...

Mary Culbertson

Man shot, killed in Salt Lake City homicide

One man is dead after he was shot in a Glendale neighborhood. Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

14 hours ago

A large fire at a historic church building in downtown Salt Lake required a three-alarm response fr...

Mary Culbertson, Brianna Chavez and Shelby Lofton

Historic church burns in downtown Salt Lake City

A large fire at a historic church building, the Wells Ward meetinghouse, caused a four-alarm response from Salt Lake Fire Department.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utah Israel community hosts vigil for victims of Be’eri massacre at state capitol