One year after Barkan attack families say time has not dimmed the loss

Ziv Hajbi, 35, a father of three, and Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, 28, a mother of one small son, were shot to death in the office of the Alon group where they worked.

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October 7, 2019 20:13
2 minute read.
The memorial for Barkan terror victims Ziv Hajbi and Kim Levengrond Yehezkel killed October 7, 2018.

The memorial for Barkan terror victims Ziv Hajbi and Kim Levengrond Yehezkel killed October 7, 2018.. (photo credit: MEIR BRACHIA)

A white butterfly appeared after her son Ziv’s murder on October 7, 2018 and has continued to follow her in the year after his death, Iris Hajbi said at a small memorial service Monday for the victims of last year’s terrorist attack in the West Bank Barkan Industrial park.

“The longing for him has not healed,” Iris said. Her son Ziv, 35, a father of three, and Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, 28, a mother of one small son, were shot to death in the office of the Alon group where they worked.

Life has never been the same, said Iris. She would wake up in the morning as usual, but her son’s smiling face was no longer there. Facing his absence on a daily basis is a continual challenge for his family, including his wife and children, Iris said.

It’s been said that the pain diminishes with time, but that has not proven to be true, she said.

The family has tried to do many things in his honor to keep his name alive, said Iris, explaining that it gives them the strength to continue.
Iris said she believes that his spirit is still with them, she has felt this from the start, Iris said.

“I have a very clear sign. In that moment a white butterfly appeared and has been with us,” said Iris, so it’s clear that Ziv “is watching over us.”

Kim’s sister Shahar recalled, how “a year ago, we awoke to the most horrible news, that we had lost the person most precious to us.”

Since then their lives have been disconnected from reality, Shahar said. The family has gone through the normal steps on the outside, “while inside everything was black,” Shahar said.

Kim “is always missing. On Fridays and Saturday and on the holidays, she is always in our thoughts. It is hard to live knowing that we will never see her again,” said Shahar.

“For almost 29 years I had the most amazing sister anyone could have,” she said.

Kim’s father Raphael said, “A year has passed, so today we held a ceremony. Next year what will we do? In 20 years, who will recall that she was even here?”

It’s likely, he said, that “I won’t be here to remember her.”

Israel has waged war, engaged in peace and given away territory such as in Gaza, Raphael said. It has tried to live in co-existence with the Palestinians, Raphael said, as he pointed to the Barkan Park where Israelis and Palestinians work together as a symbol of that co-existence.

But a harsh stance is needed against terrorism, said Raphael. He called on who ever heads the new government to ensure that terrorists are killed and that their families will have neither a home nor money.

At the ceremony, a metal sculpture in the shape of a tree was unveiled to mark the memory of the two terror victims.


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