Yotam Ovadia was killed on way to prepare a romantic dinner for wife

Terror victim buried Friday in Jerusalem’s Har HaMenuchot cemetery

By
July 27, 2018 21:51
Funeral of Yotam Ovadia who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on July 26, 2018.

Funeral of Yotam Ovadia who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on July 26, 2018.. (photo credit: TAZPIT)

“Your boy always had only one word in his mouth, ‘Abba,’ Yehudi Edri said on Friday as he eulogized his son-in-law, Yotam Ovadia, 31.

He stood in the small crowded funeral hall in Jerusalem Har Hamenuhot cemetery and read a tearful goodbye to Yotam, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist on Thursday night in his home community of Adam.

A photograph taken that day, and circulated to the media, showed Yotam with his wife Tal and their two small children, Harrel, who is two-years and ten months old and Itay, who is only seven months old.

On Friday, Yotam’s shroud covered body was laid out in front of Edri as he spoke. His family gathered around it, touching and caressing the white cloth.

At times during the funeral, they wailed and yelled out his name, “Yotam, Yotam.”

Edri said, “You were everything to Tal, Harrel and Itay.” His voice breaking into tears as he read the words he had written out earlier off of his cell phone.

“The heart breaks at the sound of your little son calling ‘Abba, Abba.’”

Edri said he had heard that Yotam had been injured in the attack and taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center at Mt. Scopus, while he was at a funeral.

The family was in “shock and panic” and “did not have a good feeling,” Edri said. “We flew to Jerusalem and we got to the hospital with the hope that he would survive.”

But then doctors gave them the most bitter news – that Yotam was no longer with them.

“We could not comprehend it, how could we think that Yotam would not return to his wife, my beloved daughter, and to his small children that still have a bottle in their hands,” Edri said.

“We do not understand how this [tragedy] befell us,” he said.

“We feel as if we are in a [nightmare] that will soon end and you will return to us, but reality is different.”

“We loved you tremendously. We will not forget you. Yotam, you were everything to your wife and your children and you loved them like crazy. You played with your children all the time.”

Tourism Minister Yair Levin said that Yotam was killed while he was on his way to prepare a special meal for his wife in honor of the Jewish day of romance, Tu Be’Av.

“This beautiful act attests to your character and the love that prevailed in your home. It is precisely on Tu B’Av that you are murdered in a crime that is entirely hateful and evil, and I have no words of comfort in the face of the loss. But our enemy must know – our spirit will not be broken,” Levin said.

The terrorist, 17-year-old Mohammed Yousef, had jumped over the security fence to the West Bank settlement of Adam, located just outside of Jerusalem.

Bedouin who he had met on his way to Kober had alerted the Adam settlement, but its security team was not able to stop him from running to Savion Street where he stabbed Yotam to death.

He then injured two Adam residents who came to Yotam’s assistance. One of the two victims, who was only lightly injured in the arm, shot and killed him. The other man was moderately injured.

On Friday and Saturday, IDF soldiers raided the terrorist’s home village of Kober. Early Saturday morning, troops clashed with dozens of Palestinians.

According to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Kober’s mayor Ezzat Badwan said that IDF troops opened fire on residents during the riots, with five injured, including one reported in critical condition.

Clashes also broke out on Friday when the military raided the village and questioned Yousef’s family members and suspended their work permits.

“The rioters hurled large rocks and firebombs and rolled burning tires at [Israeli] troops, who responded with riot-dispersal means,” read a statement released by the army.

Troops also took measurements of the family home ahead of its demolition.

Badwan urged the army not to demolish the family home, saying that the family was not involved and had condemned the attack.

“His parents and siblings had nothing to do with what he did. They do not deserve to pay the price for the actions of one of their family members,” he said.

“I believe that these operations are not correct or humane. I will never support killing civilians. It is unacceptable and against international, religious and human customs.”

On Friday, Intelligence Services Minister Israel Katz called upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond to the stabbing attack by passing legislation he sponsored that would enable the expulsion of terrorists’ families.

“This is the time to permit the bill I initiated to advance and expel the families of terrorists as the most significant means of deterrence against the terror of individuals,” Katz said.

He also said that Israel must immediately implement the law passed on July 2 that permits the state to deduct the amount of money given by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and their families from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects for the authority.

President Reuven Rivlin sent condolences to the bereaved family and prayers to the recovering victims.

“We won’t let terror rear its ugly head,” Rivlin said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman later tweeted that in response to the attack he had advanced approvals for 400 new units, which would receive final authorization at the next meeting of the Higher Planning Council.

US special envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted: “Yet another barbaric attack tonight. When will President Abbas and Palestinian leaders condemn the violence? Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families tonight.”

UN Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov tweeted, “Shocked by the murder of an #Israeli man yesterday by a #Palestinian teen in the #West- Bank. My thoughts and prayers go out to the bereaved family. Such horrible acts serve only those who stand in the way of #peace. Terror must be condemned by all.”


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