Elad victim unknowingly offered ride to terrorists only to be killed on arrival

Thousands of people attended the funerals of the three men killed in the attack in Elad.

 Family and friends grieve at the funeral of Oren Ben Yiftah, who was killed Thursday night in a terror attack in Elad (photo credit: FLASH90)
Family and friends grieve at the funeral of Oren Ben Yiftah, who was killed Thursday night in a terror attack in Elad
(photo credit: FLASH90)

One of the victims in Thursday's terror attack drove the terrorists to the scene of the attack under the impression that he was helping by offering him a ride, it was revealed on Friday afternoon. When they arrived, one of the terrorists attacked and killed him.

A total of 16 children were left fatherless Thursday night after a terrorist attack in Elad in which Yonatan Habakkuk, father of five, Boaz Gol, father of five, and Oren Ben Yiftach, father of six, were murdered.

The three men were killed by Palestinian terrorists armed with knives and axes in the central Israel city. Four others were also injured. Others are now dealing with the shock and trauma the attack caused.

The families of the three victims are trying to cope with the deaths of their loved ones.

Thousands of people attended the funerals of those killed in the attack in Elad on Friday. Yonatan Habakkuk's funeral left his hometown of Elad towards the Yarkonim Cemetery in Petah Tikva, where he was buried. At the same time, the funeral of Boaz Gul set out from Elad to Jerusalem, where he was laid to rest. Oren Ben Yiftach's funeral took place in Lod, his hometown.

Boaz Gol

"His children asked me how they could continue without a father," Ronit, sister-in-law to victim Boaz Gol, told KAN. "I told them that he went to bring the Messiah so that there wouldn't be any more victims."

Gol's son explained that he was still processing what had happened.

"Dad went to a Torah lesson and was murdered," he told KAN, adding "I still haven't digested it yet."

Yonatan Habakkuk

"My heart refuses to believe that I was left alone with five orphans," Limor, the wife of victim Yonatan Habakkuk, wrote on Facebook, noting that her husband "fought against the terrorists with great heroism for many minutes... saving many lives."

"God will avenge your blood, my beloved husband. We miss you very much," she continued.

Limor's address and phone number have been concealed by the Israeli media per her express wishes mentioned in her post, which specifies "until the scoundrels are caught," as her children are scared and traumatized.

"He helped everyone with a smile, the whole city called him 'brother.' There is no substitute for this man," Habakkuk's brother-in-law told Israeli media.

"I was his neighbor for 15 years, he was one of the most amazing people I knew," Habakkuk's friend, Amir Mizrahi, told Walla.

"He was our mechanic and he always had a smile on his face. He was the first to take me to Uman. His daughters study with mine."

Mizrahi recounted how his friend was killed.

"From what I understood from my daughters who were there, they were having a meal in their home. He wanted to go call his son who was at the town square. He went down to look for his son and was murdered."

Oren Ben Yiftach

Oren Ben Yiftach was a resident of Lod who worked as a shuttle driver and was only in the city to drive a rabbi there from Beit Shemesh. He was killed while sitting in his car.

His wife, Nofar, noticed that his phone was located where the terror attack was taking place but was unable to contact him, nor were other family members. For hours, they wondered what had happened until Lod Mayor Yair Revivo came to their home and told them of his death, Ynet reported.

"The smile never left Oren's face, it was his trademark. When you saw him smile, you smiled too," explained former Labor MK Yoram Marciano, a relative and part of the Ben Yiftach family, a large and well-established family in the city.

"This is a family rooted in Lod, which had its roots in the city many, man years ago," Marciano said, according to Ynet. "If you think 'Lod,' you think the Ben Yiftach family."

The family had been going through trying times, with Oren's older brother and father both dying of heart attacks.

"His mother lost her husband and a child in difficult medical circumstances, and now another child," Marciano lamented, according to Ynet. "Terrible, horrible."

Injuries, trauma and funerals

The brother-in-law of Shai Ben Shalom, one of the seriously injured victims, recounted the incident to KAN, noting that he was attacked right in front of his children.

"He took the children to the Elad Amphitheater Park. He turned around and they attacked him with an ax and a hammer. My brother-in-law jumped on them so that the children would run away."

Due to the traumatic nature of the incident, Elad Mayor Israel Porush told KAN that hundreds of mental healthcare personnel such as psychologists and social workers are volunteering to help talk to the children and families.

However, school for the day was announced by the Elad Municipality to still be in session.