Former southern Israel mayor gets date of Hamas massacre tattooed: 'All you can do is hug and cry'

Haim Jelin says memory of attack must not fade away, for it is ‘the essence of everything that happened in the State of Israel after the Holocaust’
Moran Azulay, Sharon Kidon, Nir (Shoko) Cohen, Itamar Eichner|
Haim Jelin, the former head of the Eshkol Regional Council and resident of Kibbutz Be'eri—which was decimated in the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israeli communities—commemorated the massacre by tattooing the date on his arm. "The stories are piling up and the silence is deafening. All you can do is hug and cry," Jelin posted to his X account.
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"The heroic stories of mothers who fought like lionesses," he added, "the bravery of soldiers who reside in Be'eri, who rushed to save the kibbutz, as well as the bravery of the kibbutz alert squad, and above all the mobile phones found in every safe room, they all reveal the full story of what was happening to his family relatives until their last breath - evidence of the Holocaust that took place in these communities. We will remember and never forget".
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חיים ילין
חיים ילין
Haim Jelin
(Photo: Herzl Yossef)
In an interview with Ynet, Jelin shares about he came to the decision to get the tattoo. "I attended the funeral of a relative when suddenly it hit me, I understood what it meant; until now we only talked about it, but when you bury [someone], you understand that this is the end, and it's a new and a different beginning. At that very moment, on the spot, I decided to get it tattooed the following morning. Kind people helped me do it."
"If I look at things from a perspective of 50 years from now," Jelin adds, "I can tell that it will slowly fade away. For 20 years, we have been in a state of war against Gaza; there is a round of fighting and it fades away, and again there is a military operation, we hug and it subsides. It cannot fade away. This is the existence of the Jewish people in their country. This is the essence of everything that happened in the State of Israel after the Holocaust."
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חיים ילין קעקוע
חיים ילין קעקוע
The date of the massacre tattooed on Jelin's forearm
(Photo: Courtesy)
He also said, "we want to go back there, to establish a region that will prosper even more than it did before; but in order for that to happen, the government must not talk but act, and for the first time extinguish terrorism in the Gaza Strip, because if we don't exist, terror will hit Ashkelon, Ofakim and Be'er Sheva. We are fighting for the identity of the State of Israel, for the identity of an Israeli society that is now fighting for the glory of its country. This spirit will win because it is impossible to break one's spirit."
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