Hundreds Attend Funeral of Israeli Officer Run Over by Palestinian Driver
Hundreds of people attended the funeral of an Israeli police officer who was fatally run over on Sunday, with a Palestinian teenager taken into custody in connection with the killing.
Israel Police Sergeant-Major Barak Meshulam, 29, was on duty at a police roadblock located north of Tel Aviv, between between Ra’anana and Kfar Saba, when he was struck by a car and killed in the early hours of Sunday.
A 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Ramallah who ran over the officer before fleeing has since been arrested, and is suspected of having driven a stolen vehicle, according to Israel Police.
Asked whether it was a terrorist incident, a police spokesperson said, “All aspects are being investigated, but at the moment it is being investigated as a criminal aspect on suspicion of murder.”
Meshulam joined the force after completing his military service as a border police officer in 2014. He is survived by his wife Ariella, two young children, his parents, and two brothers.
“Our police officers risk their lives on a daily basis in order to protect all of our lives,” said Prime Minister Yair Lapid while sending condolences to the bereaved family.
The officer was laid to rest in Kfar Saba on Sunday, among hundreds of mourners, local media reported.
Ariella, Meshulam’s wife, described him as “the love of my life,” adding, “It’s important for me that you know, I am not angry.”
“I always describe what an amazing father you are,” she said, Channel 13 reported. “I promise to be strong for [the children]. You are a hero. It’s hard to believe that won’t see your face. I will love you for eternity.”
Zuki, the officer’s mother, promised to help raise her grandchildren, aged one and three. “They won’t want for anything … I will always be by your side, Ariella. We are strong and we are together.”
The incident follows several others in which Israeli officers were struck by vehicles in recent months, according to Channel 13, including the killing of volunteer officer Amichai Carmely in Rishon Lezion in June.