Every people have their history, bloody pages, which are never forgotten, said Israeli Minister of Absorption Sofa Landver speaking at an event dedicated to the Khojaly massacre victims organized by the Azerbaijan-Israel (AZIZ) society with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation as part of the Justice for Khojaly campaign.
She said the Khojaly massacre of 1992 in Nagorno-Karabakh is the horrible tragedy suffered by the people of Azerbaijan. Accounts of this tragedy were brought to Israel by immigrants from Azerbaijan who are united in the AZIZ.
According to Landver, the history will never forget victims of the Khojaly tragedy - young and old, children and teenagers.
The minister noted that the tragedy is a bloody history. The memories about it will be handed down from generation to generation.
She highlighted the importance of marking this bloody massacre in Israel.
"We want people who came to Israel from Azerbaijan to know that this tragedy is suffered not only by them. We in the State of Israel share what the people of Azerbaijan experienced throughout their history," she added.
The town of Khojaly was situated within the administrative borders of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Its population constituted over 7,000 people.
Late into the night of February 25, 1992, Khojaly came under intensive fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by Armenian armed forces. The Armenian forces, supported by the ex-Soviet 366th regiment, completed the surrounding of the town already isolated due to ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani population of the neighboring regions. The joint forces occupied the town, which was ruined by heavy artillery shelling.
Thousands of fleeing civilians were ambushed by the Armenian forces. Punitive teams of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh defense army reached the unprotected civilians to slaughter them, mutilating and scalping some of the bodies. 613 civilians, including 106 women, 70 elderly and 83 children were killed in the massacre.A total of 1,000 civilians were disabled. Eight families were exterminated, and 25 children lost both parents, while 130 children lost one parent. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.