‘My Heart Burns’: Thousands Attend Funerals of Three Israeli Fathers Killed in Elad Terror Attack
Thousands of mourners on Friday gathered at the funerals of the three young Israeli fathers murdered in the latest stabbing rampage in central Israel.
The three Israeli victims from Thursday’s terror attack on Independence Day in the central city of Elad were 44-year-old Yonatan Habakuk, a father of five; 49-year-old Boaz Gol, also a father of five; and 35-year-old Oren Ben Yiftach, a father of six from the city of Lod. Israeli security forces are still on a massive manhunt to locate the two Palestinian suspects, who were armed with an axe and a knife.
In a post on social media, Habakuk’s widow Limor wrote that her late husband fought off the attackers for many minutes, saving lives.
“My heart refuses to believe I was left alone with five orphans,” she wrote. “My heart burns that my tender child saw his father in his last moments.”
Habakuk was known as “Achinu” (our brother) in Elad, his brother-in-law told Israel’s Kan news broadcaster. “He helped everyone with a smile no matter what the problem was. The whole city called him Achinu,” he said.
Boaz Gol — a car mechanic who left behind five kids between 6 and 18 years old — was on his way to a Torah lesson when he was murdered in Thursday’s attack.
“In one day, my life was lost in an instant, my heart was broken, everything turned upside down,” Gol’s widow Galit said. “We did not part properly. There is supposed to be a bar mitzvah for our child, what will I do now without you?”
Gol’s eldest son, Or Chaim, eulogized him in tears: “Dad always cooked me dinners because I did not really like the food they served at the yeshiva where I studied. Now, dad will never get to see us again. How Dad, how did this happen?”
Oren Ben Yiftah, a driver who resided in the city of Lod was called up to drive a rabbi to Elad where he got struck.
“For me you are still alive, only yesterday we sang together the song of the lovers’ oath,” Ben Yiftah’s wife, Nofar, said at the ceremony. “How did you leave me? How will I tell this to the kids?
“You knew. You told me that you will be joining your father and leaving me here,” she said. “You didn’t know what was waiting for you only two days after.”
The brothers of Ben Yiftah described him as a pursuer of peace, and one who loved to help others.
“A father who gave his soul to his children. A gentle human being,” they said.