Jerusalem - Second Victim In Yesterday’s Violence Buried In Jerusalem
Jerusalem - Ofer Ben Ari was remembered today in Jerusalem by friends, family members and elected officials as a man whose love and warmth encompassed his family, his friends and the entire Jewish nation.
As previously reported by VIN News, the 46 year old father of two died yesterday after being hit by a bullet fired by Israeli soldiers as they tried to subdue the terrorists in yesterday’s stabbing attack outside Shaar Yafo.
Ben Ari’s funeral took place today on Har Hamenuchos as reported by Israeli news site Walla!.
“It doesn’t matter what they take from us and how much we lose,” said Ben Ari’s wife Yifat. “The hope and the bravery and the determination must be the guiding principles in our lives.”
Mrs. Ben Ari described her husband, who raced out of his car to offer assistance when he saw the attack taking place, as a compassionate man who lived to help others.
“We are left speechless,” said Mrs. Ben Ari. “We never dreamed that a single bullet could pierce your body and take your life. You jumped in with all of your strength and it ended there, for you and for us. In your own way, you left us a legacy to continue on the path to peace. You were always proud to love others unconditionally and what you gave us no murdered can take away.”
“How can I even write this?” lamented Ben Ari’s daughter Gaya in her eulogy. “What is there to say? Who would have ever believed that you would go and not come back? You have left all of us alone. Who will take care of us? Who will pamper us? Who will reprimand me when I come home late?”
The 16 year old described the close relationship she shared with her father.
“I am eulogizing you now, my father, instead of sitting with you and watching television,” said Gaya Ben Ari. “When they told me I collapsed and today I am burying you. A girl who is just 16 is burying her father. It simply cannot be believed. A few years ago I sang Shlomi Shabat’s song ‘Aba’ for you and you started to cry. All you ever wanted was for me to succeed in my studied. Forgive me Abba that you won’t be with me and you won’t accompany me to my wedding and you won’t see my children. I am an orphan. You are a man who made others laugh, special and good. I love you.”
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat lauded Ben Ari for his heroism.
“Ofer made the decision to leave his car, to run and to confront the terrorists,” said Mayor Barkat. “That was his personality. Ofer was a man with a golden heart, a man with the heart of a lion. Even though our hearts are broken he leaves behind an incredible legacy for us all.”
Ben Ari’s uncle, Itzik Ben Chamo, criticized the police officer who fired the lethal shot but acknowledged that in the heat of the moment it can be difficult to distinguish between a terrorist and someone who is trying to help.
But Asi Aharoni, chief superintendent for the Jerusalem district and a person friend of Ben Ari’s, said that police did not mistake Ben Ari for a terrorist.
“It was a single bullet to the stomach that, to our great distress, killed Ofer,” said Aharoni. “The police who work in the area and have to neutralize terrorists are skilled and know how to work precisely in situations like this. They did not identify Ofer as a terrorist.
They pinpointed the terrorists and began to shoot. Eye witnesses have confirmed that no one intentionally targeted Ofer.”
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