Education Minister Yoav Kisch (Likud) paid a condolence visit on Monday to the family of the schoolchildren killed in a car crash in Shuafat on Thursday, according to a press statement from the Education Ministry. This is the first instance of an Israeli education minister making such a visit.
The children, aged three, four and eight, were severely injured after getting hit by a car on their way to school, and their deaths were confirmed a short time after the incident. They were later identified as Selina, Melissa and Sayid Al-Raghbi, three siblings from Shuafat.
According to United Hatzalah citing eyewitnesses, the children were hit by a car while they were walking next to a school.
Yoav Kisch's visit to Shuafat
In light of the Al-Raghbi family's tragedy, Kisch decided to pay a visit to the Al-Majad school in Shuafat to offer condolences to Issam and Narin Al-Raghbi, the parents of Selina, Melissa and Sayid.
Kisch was joined by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. According to the Education Ministry's statement, Issam and Narin told the pair about their children, describing them as happy, opinionated and sensitive kids who were loved by their community.
During his visit, the education minister toured the children's school, spoke with teachers and students and visited the class of the late Selina who was in first grade. Her teacher described her as an excellent student who was very active in class. She added that Selina was a happy child who was beloved by her peers.
"We must put aside our differences in everything related to the education of our children, and take care of them first and foremost," said Kisch to the school faculty during his tour. "It was very important to me to visit you. This is a difficult and unimaginable event, and we all feel your pain. The Education Ministry, led by me, is at your service for whatever you may need; it will accompany and assist you with whatever is required. We will do everything possible to improve, as well as to prevent something like this from happening again.
Kisch also spoke about the fact that there is no ambulance service serving the neighborhood's residents and said that he intends to work on changing that together with the Health Ministry.