Families attend funerals of Beersheba victims

Beersheba mayor says four were killed in bank shooting, but entire city wounded as families lay loved ones to rest.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
May 21, 2013 16:38
1 minute read.
Loved ones touching the grave of Anat Even-Haim, killed in Beersheba shooting on 20th May 2013.

Beersheba shooting victims 370. (photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)

Families and friends on Tuesday attended the funerals of Itamar Alon's victims after the gunman opened fire in a small Bank Hapoalim branch in Beersheba the previous day, killing four people before taking his own life.

Responding to the tragedy, Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich said four were killed in the shooting, but the entire city was wounded and in pain. Army Radio reported earlier that the mayor had visited Walid Omar, 22, from the Negev Bedouin community, who was seriously injured in Monday's bank shooting incident

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The shooter, identified as 40-year-old Itamar Alon, had reportedly been turned down a day earlier by the bank when he tried to extend his credit line, because of a NIS 6,000 debt. After returning to the bank, he shot to death bank manager Avner Cohen and deputy manager Meir Zeitoun, shooting both multiple times before killing customers Anat Even-Haim and Idan Schnitzer Sabari.

Cohen, the bank’s branch manager, was 44 years old. He is survived by his wife and three children, aged six, 13 and 18. Prior to the shooting, he sent his aunt to another branch, and she said that saved her life.


Zeitun turned 40 last week.



Even-Haim was the mother of three children – an 11-year-old and four-year-old twins.Sabari, a Beersheba resident, was 22 years old.After killing his four victims, Alon then took employee Miriam Cohen hostage and dragged her into a bathroom, Cohen told Channel 10 on Monday evening.



Following Monday’s shooting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the families of those killed, and called the incident a huge tragedy and a “terror attack.”





“I can’t remember events like this – at least not in recent years. We can’t let a terror attack like this happen again,” he said.



“Something like this is so disgusting, we cannot just let it pass,” said Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman, adding that fighting crime is like fighting terror.



“We have to reach the right conclusions so these events don’t happen again,” Liberman said.



Sam Sokol and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.



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