Jerusalem - All Five Fatalities In Israel Terror Attacks Identified, One American
Jerusalem - A yeshiva student from the Boston area was one of five people who lost their lives today as terror and violence continue to sweep through Israel.
18 year old Ezra Schwartz of Sharon, Massachusetts had been spending a post high school year in an Israeli yeshiva when he was murdered. As previously reported on VIN News, three people were killed late this afternoon when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on cars at a congested roadway near the Gush Etzion junction.
Schwartz, a 2015 graduate of the Maimonides school in Brookline, was studying at Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh, which combines a year of learning with community service as reported by B’Charei Charedim. At the time of the attack, Schwartz had been returning with friends to yeshiva after a day that included distributing food to Israeli soldiers in Gush Etzion and a visit to a memorial for the three Israeli teens who were killed in 2014.
49 year old Yaakov Don of Alon Shevut, who died in the attack, leaves behind a wife and four children, ages 13 to 21. The son of Holocaust survivors, Don was a former student at Yeshivat Har Etzion who went on to become a teacher and an educational coordinator at the Derech Avot High School for Boys in Efrat. Don also worked for the Ministry of Education and had a doctorate in technology from the University of Haifa. He was well known in Alon Shevut and was heavily involved in community matters.
A statement released by the settlement lauded Don for his dedication and devotion.
“Yaakov was a man of education with every bone of his body. He loved education and more than anything else, he loved his students. He was a man of education and of smiles. Alon Shvut mourns his loss.”
Don’s funeral will take place at 10:30 tomorrow at the K’far Etzion cemetery.
The third fatality in the shooting spree was a 40 year old Palestinian man identified as Shadi Arafa of Chevron.
Naama Bagrish, head nurse at Shaare Zedek’s Emergency Medicine department, said that she had been driving home from work when she came upon the traffic jam before Alon Shevut.
“Suddenly, a vehicle broke out of the congestion and started to drive wildly opposite me,” said Bagrish. “I started honking my horn and then I heard gunshots and I knew that it was a terror attack.”
Bagrish said that after calling her husband, she went to treat the injured, one of whom had a head injury and was pronounced dead at the scene. Another was barely clinging to life.
Earlier in the day, two men were killed in a gruesome stabbing attack in a southern Tel Aviv office building where a group of men had gathered to daven Mincha. As previously reported on VIN News, worshippers blocked the door to the room as the attacker attempted to force his way into the room and continue his murderous rampage.
32 year old Rabbi Aharon Yasiav was stabbed to death as he left the Panorama building after davening Mincha. Rabbi Yasiav, a baal teshuva, lived in Cholon where he was named as head of the city’s Chareidi community. Those who knew the niftar described him as “a special person who always loved to help others with a smiling face and a full heart.”
Rabbi Yasiav leaves behind a wife and five children, the youngest one of which is just four months old, with the oldest attending first grade. In an interview with Kikar HaShabbat, his father said that his son, who closed the door to the synagogue as he left, likely saved the lives and noted that the fire of yiddishkeit had burned strongly within his son.
“Even at the age of two he wanted to wear a kippa on his head. I would take the kippa off his head and he would cry, ‘I want a kippa, kippa.’ He was the one who brought religion back to our family.”
51 year old Reuven Aviram, the father of one, also died in the terror attack. A resident of Ramala, Avriam moved to Israel at a young age from Uzbekistan and worked in the diamond business.
Aviram’s brother in law, Albert Moshvaiv, said that his wife had a bad feeling after hearing about today’s terror attacks.
“She tried calling him but he didn’t answer and after a few hours, they came to the house and told us that Reuven had been killed.”
Moshvaiv said that he and Aviram had just discussed the security situation this past weekend.
“He had said that we cannot let the Arabs come in, they just make a ruckus and they are dangerous, and today he was killed by an Arab with a knife,” said Moshvaiv. “He was an amazing individual, a true ‘chevra-man.’ He always worried about his family, his home and his work and today he didn’t come home.”
Today marks the deadliest day in the recent wave of terror attacks in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to the families of those who were killed and his wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded on Facebook.
The prime minister also noted that he expected the world to respond appropriately to today’s carnage.
“Whoever condemned the attacks in France needs to condemn the attacks in Israel,” posted Netanyahu on his Facebook page. “It’s the same terror. Whoever does not do this is a hypocrite and blind.”
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