India's Modi Meets Israeli Boy Who Survived Terror Attack on Mumbai Jewish Center

Israeli boy Moshe Holtzberg survived the deadly 2008 attack on Chabad House that saw his parents killed along with over 170 people in India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) stands next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he hugs Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents were killed during the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai at Nariman House, home to the Mumbai chapter of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish movement, in Jerusalem July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Atef Safadi/Pool
POOL/REUTERS

During a historic trip to Israel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi found time between diplomatic appointments to meet one special little Israeli boy in Jerusalem Wednesday.

Moshe Holtzberg, 10, survived a terrorist attack on a Jewish center in Mumbai in 2008 in which both his parents and six others were killed. Moshe's parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, were held hostage along with six others by militants who stormed the Jewish center Chabad House in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. 

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Chabad House was one of several places in India's financial hub of Mumbai that were targeted by a group of 10 terrorists on November 26-28, 2008, including a railway station and an upper-end hotel. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) stands next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he hugs Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents were killed during the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai at Nariman House, home to the Mumbai chapter of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish movement, in Jerusalem July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Atef Safadi/Pool
Atef Safadi/AP

A total of 171 people were killed and more than 300 others were injured in the attacks.

Moshe, then 2 years old, was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel, who hid in a room after the two gunmen stormed the house. She later managed to escape with the child. 

Samuel, now 53, was granted honorary citizenship by Israel. She lives in Jerusalem and visits Moshe every Sunday at his grandparents' home in Afula, about 95 kilometers away.

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Photographs of nanny Samuel with baby Moshe were abiding images of hope and survival in the trauma of the Mumbai attacks. 

Modi invited a now bespectacled Moshe with a shy smile and his grandparents Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg to visit India and Mumbai.

"Anytime you can come to India, anytime you can go," Modi told Moshe, holding him close. 

"Moshe will grow up to be a rabbi and return to India to head Mumbai's Chabad House," his grandfather was quoted as saying by NDTV news channel.

Samuel was commended by both Modi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for her bravery.

"We are being challenged by forces of terror that seek to undermine our world, our countries, the peace and stability of our common civilizations and we have agreed to cooperate to fight these," Netanyahu had said earlier at a joint press briefing.

Referring to the meeting with Moshe, the Israeli premier said: "This is an expression of our commitment to fight the bad and work for the good."