ROME (JTA) — The new president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, in his inaugural address remembered a 2-year-old Jewish boy killed in a terrorist attack on a Rome synagogue.
Speaking Tuesday before the Parliament, Mattarella recalled Stefano Gaj Tache, who was killed in the 1982 attack on the Great Synagogue of Rome carried out by Palestinian terrorists.
“Our country has paid, many times, in the not too distant past, the price of hatred and intolerance,” said Mattarella, who was elected Sunday by the Parliament. “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,”
The attack took place during the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret and at the end of services. Armed Palestinian militants waited until they saw worshippers at the entrance to the synagogue and started firing grenades at the crowd.
Stefano was killed after being hit by shrapnel; 37 people were injured.
Mattarella in his speech also said that 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.