Mother of Israeli Arab woman killed in Istanbul attack: She is a martyr

Layan Nasser laid to rest in Tira; funeral attended by several Joint List MKs, but not by any representatives of the government.

January 3, 2017 13:42
2 minute read.

Funeral of Layan Nassar

Funeral of Layan Nassar


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Thousands of people mourned the loss of Layan Nasser on Tuesday, as the 19-year-old victim of the New Year's Eve Istanbul terror attack was laid to rest at the Muslim cemetery in the central Israeli Arab city of Tira.

Among those attending the funeral were several Joint List MKs, including Ayman Odeh, Ahmed Tibi and Jamal Zahalke. However, no official representatives of the government attended the funeral.

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(photo credit: FADI MANSOUR (TIRAWI)

The Tira Municipality declared a day of mourning in solidarity with Nasser's family and in condemnation of the massacre carried out by the Islamic State terrorist organization in which 39 people were killed and dozens more were wounded.

Nasser's mother, Lucy, called her daughter a "martyr," asking the mourners at the funeral, "Did you come to share in our sorrow, or to share in our happiness that Layan fell as a saint? Layan, wake for a moment so that I can give you a final hug and to tell you again that I love you. Make your voice heard, my sweet, if only for a few seconds. I miss you."

(photo credit: FADI MANSOUR (TIRAWI)

The funeral procession set out at 11:30 a.m. from the family home toward the cemetery. Family members said that they had not yet come to terms with the tragedy. "Layan was the flower of the family, our happiness," one family member said, adding that "her mother is spiritually crushed, and cannot fathom that [Layan] is no longer here."

Speaking at the funeral, Tibi called the Istanbul attack a loathsome act of terror and he referred to Islamic State as a fascistic cancer. "ISIS is not Islam and most of the victims of its crimes are Muslims."

Tibi added that "the entire Arab public is shocked and feels great sadness and anger." 

Tira Mayor Mamoun Abdul Hai said that "the whole city feels the Nasser family's pain and the pain of all the victims' families. This is the first time that we are dealing with this kind of difficult event. There is anger throughout the town at the terror attack, therefore we declared a day of mourning in which we wanted to tell the whole world that we are against violence and terror." The mayor called on citizens to take seriously travel advisories from the Counter-Terrorism Bureau.

(photo credit: FADI MANSOUR (TIRAWI)

Israel's Islamic Movement condemned the terror attack and "the marginal group of people" who criticized the victims' families because their daughters took part in New Year's celebrations. "This is a small group, who does not share the views of the wider community and has shown ignorance on matters of religion," the Islamic Movement stated.

The Joint List also condemned the attack and called on the whole community to attend Layan's funeral, in solidarity with the family and as a symbolic gesture against terror.

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