Hundreds attended the Cyprus Stands with Israel rally in Larnaca on Tuesday evening during which visibly shaken Israeli ambassador Oren Anolik called for strength and resilience in the face of “extreme and inhumane violence.”

Held outside the Cyprus Central Synagogue, the event came two days after a similar number took to the streets to demonstrate in support of the Palestinian people.

Tuesday’s event was also attended by the ambassadors of the US, France, Poland and Ukraine and Cypriot political representatives in addition to family members of Israelis who have been taken hostage and are being held in Gaza.

People held Israeli and Cyprus flags and photographs of those who were kidnapped in a demonstration in the road outside the synagogue.

Chief Rabbi of Cyprus Arie Zeev Raskin led a prayer and lit candles for the kidnapped, as well as for the deceased.

“My daughter Romi, only 23 years old is still missing and assumed to be a hostage in Gaza,” said Merav Ronen.

“She is young and beautiful and she called me on Saturday crying and telling me ‘I am afraid, I don’t know where to hide.’

“We stayed on the phone for four hours while she was trying to hide from the terrorists. I kept hearing shooting in the background, I cannot even describe that feeling.”

Merav said she still have no information on her daughter’s whereabouts.

“I am a strong mother, I have always been, but I feel I could not protect my daughter. Our enemy is hot human. Cyprus and the world need to know what happened to us. If it happened in Israel, it can happen everywhere. Israel is strong, but together we are stronger. We need Cyprus’ support.”

Another mother, also called Merav, likened the acts of Hamas to the ones suffered by Jews during the Holocaust. Her nine-month and four-year-old sons are still missing, along with her brother.

“They took babies, they killed elderly people, we don’t know what happened to them. We want the world to know what happened to them,” she said, thanking Cyprus for the support shown to Israeli nationals fleeing the violence.

“The last thing I heard from my eldest son is ‘Mommy I love you’. I didn’t have time to say it back to him,” Merav said crying.

Addressing the rally Anolik said: “Since October 7 it has been just an endless nightmare for all of us. What happened represents collective trauma not just for Israel, but for the entire world.

“Jewish people have been hunted down for centuries, we cannot believe it is happening all over again. No human being can burn children alive,” Anolik said.

He then thanked the Cypriot government and its people for the support shown in the past days, calling it “a source of comfort amid the enormous pain.”

Anolik’s words were echoed by US ambassador Julie Fisher, who also praised the Cypriot government for acting as a transit for US citizens fleeing Israel.

“What happened on October 7 made me think about 9/11,” she said. “It made me relive the grief, the suffering, the uncertainty.

“Like then, people don’t know if their families are alive, if they will ever see them again.

“The attacks only resonate with evil and inhumanity. They remind all of us of the dark days of the Holocaust and we need to recognise it.

“I am proud of my country for standing with Israel,” Fisher said.

Support for Israel was also underlined by Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulous, who also attended the event alongside former Disy leader Averof Neophytou.

“Once again Israel has been hit and once again Cyprus is offering its full support,” he said. “We are honoured to be able to offer our help.

“We do not accept these acts of violence and we stand with Israel. But even in these dark and tragic days, we are striving for peace, hoping that violence in the Middle East will one day soon end,” Papadopoulos said.