Israeli Seriously Wounded in Berlin Truck-Ramming Attack Regains Consciousness to Learn Beloved Wife Killed; Has ‘Difficulty Picking Up the Pieces’
The Israeli who was seriously wounded in the truck-ramming attack on an outdoor Christmas market in Berlin last month regained consciousness this week, only to discover that his wife had been killed, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Thursday.
Speaking for the first time since the incident from his hospital bed in Germany, Rami Elyakim — whose wife, Dalia, 60, was missing for a number of days after the terrorist attack, and was subsequently determined to be among the 12 dead – said he is having a hard time picking up the pieces of his life. Though he said he remembers nothing of the attack itself, he bemoaned the fact that he is now faced with cancelling the next trip that he and his wife had planned to take in the near future.
“Dalia was the love of my life,” he said. “She really was an extraordinary woman.”
He also expressed amazement – along with outraged family members — to hear a rumor that Israel’s National Insurance Institute will not recognize Aliza as a victim of terrorism, but rather as a casualty of a vehicular accident.
Rami’s brother, Ofer Elyakim, complained to Walla that the Israeli authorities have been ignoring Dalia’s case. “No government representative attended her funeral,” he said. “Nobody has taken an interest in whether her insurance is valid. For two weeks, we have been sitting in Berlin at [Rami’s] bedside, and nobody — other than President Reuven Rivlin — has seen fit to take any sort of interest.”
Ofer continued: “A response was issued, I think by the Defense Ministry, but nobody got up and announced officially that Dalia would not be recognized as a terror victim…I want to hear some Israeli official [dare] to announce that Dalia was not killed in a terrorist attack.”
Ofer said that the family had not anticipated this kind of treatment. “On a personal level, it is first and foremost insulting,” he said. “It’s not at all about the money; [in fact], it could be that it’s better for the German authorities to handle that side of it. But there is an issue of the state of Israel’s acknowledgement that my sister-in-law was killed in a terrorist attack. My brother is lying here with the lower half of his body crushed, and nobody thinks the attack is worthy of attention, because it wasn’t aimed at Israelis?”
On the other hand, Ofer said, private organizations and companies have rallied to help. “We have been surrounded by amazing warmth from every clerk we have encountered. El Al Airlines helped us with flight cancellations at no cost; the cellphone company said it wouldn’t charge me for my package; the parking lot at Ben Gurion Airport will not charge for Rami’s car, that has been sitting there for a month, and for which we have no key. Even PassportCard Travel Insurance, went out of its way to pay for flying Dalia’s body back to Israel, and now Rami’s hospitalization and [imminent] flight home, as well. The mayor of Herzliya, Moshe Fadlon, called Rami’s son and asked whether he needed anything for [his mother’s] funeral. The Israeli Embassy also behaved with compassion and were with us 24 hours a day.”
The Berlin attack, which took place on December 19, was committed by Tunisian-born Islamist terrorist Anis Amri, who was discovered to have pledged allegiance to ISIS. He was killed in a shootout with police in Italy four days later.