Defense Ministry: Asher Palmer, son were terror victims

Police investigation finds that the pair from Kiryat Arba died from rocks thrown at their vehicle; incident declared a terror attack, not car accident.

Funeral of Kiryat Arba car accident victims 311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Funeral of Kiryat Arba car accident victims 311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Asher Hillel Palmer and his infant son Yonatan will be recognized as terror victims, the Defense Ministry confirmed on Wednesday morning in an announcement to the National Insurance Institute. The two were killed when their car overturned on Route 60 outside Kiryat Arba on Friday.
The statement came after the Defense Ministry received the findings of a police investigation which confirmed that the father and son from Kiryat Arba were killed as a result of rock throwing, not a car accident as originally reported by the IDF.
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Details of the incident began to emerge on Sunday, after the family of Palmer, 25, reached an agreement with the state to allow for blood samples to be taken from his body and that of Yonatan, in order to determine the cause of death.
Palmer’s family had initially refused the state permission to conduct an autopsy on the bodies, and the state petitioned the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court against the family’s decision.
When the court refused the petition, the state immediately appealed the lower court’s ruling directly in the High Court of Justice.
The High Court issued a temporary injunction delaying the magistrate’s court’s ruling ahead of a hearing scheduled for Sunday, but the hearing was cut short after both sides reached an agreement that blood samples could be taken from the bodies.
More than a thousand people crowded a parking lot in Kiryat Arba on Sunday evening, to bid farewell to the deceased.
Asher’s brother-in-law, Aharon Peretz told the mourners, “Asher, you were my beloved, noble brother-in- law. Yonatan, my nephew, people used to stop me in the street and say what a little angel your sister has, with eyes as blue as the heavens, a baby that at only 10 months old started to walk. Asher, the love of my heart, who never said anything loud, always spoke softly, always with a pure heart.”
His voice cracking as he burst into tears, Peretz added “I want to tell you one thing, we promise you that we will take care of your mother, Yonatan. We will take care of her, and we will try as much as possible to make sure that you are happy up in heaven with how we take care of her. And we want you to make sure to protect her and us from up above as well. We love you and miss you every second.”
After the eulogies ended, mourners carried the body of Asher and a tiny prayer shawl carrying Yonatan to a waiting van, in which they were taken for burial in Hebron.