'We won't break': Settlement mourns woman killed in West Bank attack

IDF ups security in West Bank after situational assessment

Funeral of Esther Hurgan who was murdered in a suspected terror attack in the West Bank (photo credit: Courtesy)
Funeral of Esther Hurgan who was murdered in a suspected terror attack in the West Bank
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Dozens of relatives, friends and public figures attended the funeral on Tuesday of Esther Horgen, who was killed in a suspected terror attack near her home in northern Samaria on Sunday.

Horgen, a mother of six, was an immigrant from France. Her body, which showed signs of violence, was found in Reihan Forest near the settlement of Tal Menashe on Monday morning.

Residents of Tal Menashe joined hands in a human chain and held Israeli flags along the route from the family’s house to the cemetery.

“We walked together for 30 years, and yesterday you left and did not return,” Esther’s husband, Benyamin, said in his eulogy. “How can so few words describe the depth and breadth of your beauty and goodness?”

“You built both a physical house and a spiritual house, everything, and it was supposed to be just the beginning,” he said. “There were so many more plans.”

“Everyone’s lives were changed when you showed up – and always for the better,” he said. “I won big. We met at Hanukkah at the old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. We built a family home together, and although we both grew up in a small town called Paris, you pulled me to nature, to greenery, to beauty. We moved again and came here to Tal Menashe in the Land of Israel you fell in love with, and after so many wanderings, we stayed.

“You raised the children and raised me on the purity of good beauty – aesthetics as a way of life... Your message was to see the good in every person, to see the good and empower it. This is how we will continue with our children.”

Esther’s daughter Odelia said: “You always knew how to say the happiest things. I so hope I am like you, because who does not want to be like you. I am so sorry you won’t dance with me at my wedding. You are the spirit in the sails of the family.”

Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan said: “Beloved Esther... You were taken from us by such a cruel and malicious hand just because you were a Jew living in her land.”

“The people of Israel will not be broken because the government will deliver an appropriate response to this murder,” he said in his eulogy. “The prime minister will announce today [Tuesday] that the government is doubling the settlement of Tal Menashe and is giving a proud Zionist answer to this terrible crime. We will never break.”

Settlement Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said: “There is nothing new in the evil, fanatic humiliation of our enemies.
They accompany the annals of our people. They are an inseparable part of Jewish history that knew and was hit by everything – and by virtue of faith also stood through everything and could do everything, sometimes tearful and bleeding, but standing firm.”

After the attack, the IDF on Tuesday said it is increasing security measures in the West Bank.

The IDF “will reinforce troops in Judea and Samaria today [Tuesday] to enhance the defense of communities and roads in the region,” the IDF said.

All soldiers in the Judea and Samaria Division will be under curfew until Friday, it said.

Also on Monday, a terrorist attack took place in Jerusalem’s Old City near Lion's Gate in JerusalemThe suspect, a 17-year-old Palestinian from Kabatiya, near Jenin, was armed with a submachine gun and shot at police before being neutralized by Border Police officers, the police said.

Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) forces near Ramallah accidentally fired on a vehicle as it sped toward them after a crash. There were no casualties.

The Shin Bet officers thought they were being targeted by a ramming attack and fired at the vehicle. The driver was transferred to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer after he was injured lightly in the traffic accident. He was not injured by the gunfire.

Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.