Ariel terror victim Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger dies after fighting for his life

“We believe he prevented a greater terror attack from occurring," Ettinger’s son-in-law Zeev Goldstein said.

March 18, 2019 15:09
2 minute read.
47-year-old, Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger and Ariel Junction, where the attack took place on March 17, 2019

47-year-old, Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger and Ariel Junction, where the attack took place on March 17, 2019. (photo credit: TPS AND RAFI AVITAL/TPS)


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Ariel terror victim Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, 47, succumbed to his wounds Monday morning after doctors at Beilinson hospital fought to save his life for almost 24 hours.

He is the second fatality from the attack. Gal Keidan, 19, a soldier guarding Ariel junction who was killed at the scene, was buried in his hometown of Beersheba on Monday morning.
Ettinger was the father of 12 and was head of the Oz and Emunah Yeshiva in south Tel Aviv.

The body of Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger is brought to his funeral in the West Bank settlement of Eli, March 18th, 2019 (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The terrorist stole a gun from Keidan and shot at three vehicles at the junction, including one that belonged to Ettinger, sending three bullets through the windshield. 

Ettinger’s son-in-law Zeev Goldstein had asked the public to pray for his father-in-law’s speedy recovery, explaining that he had displayed extraordinary bravery during the terror attack.

Just before Ettinger was shot, he was able to recognize that he was in the middle of an attack, drew his gun and shot at the terrorist a number of times, Goldstein said.

“We believe he prevented a greater terror attack from occurring,” he said.

“We are asking the Israeli government to take responsibility for our safety,” Goldstein said. “We can’t accept a reality in which terror engulfs the country and engulfs Samaria and Gaza and Tel Aviv.” He asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also defense minister, to take action to restore deterrence.

“The terrorist is wandering around with a weapon. He should not be allowed to live,” Goldstein said.

At the Ariel junction, the shooter, identified as Omar Abu Lila, stole a vehicle and drove to the nearby Gitai Avishar junction. He then shot and seriously wounded another Israeli, who was identified by Ynet as Alexander Dvorsky, a young immigrant from Moldova.

On Sunday Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich mourned Keidan’s death, whom he described on his Facebook page as a gifted science and technology student as well as a musician.

Beersheba’s music conservatory posted photos of Keidan with his mandolin. Those who knew him also left notes on a YouTube video of a 2013 choral performance of a youth choir he participated in.

On Monday the IDF detained and questioned the father and 16-year-old brother of the suspected Ariel attacker. Troops raided the family’s house and family-owned store in Zawiya, in the northern West Bank.

A manhunt is still underway to find Abu Lila. 

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