West Bank Shooting / Killed in Attack Two Months Before His Wedding

Yehoshua (Shuki) Sofer's parents eulogize him as 'outstanding' officer who was never afraid; two other officers wounded in suspected ambush.

The Israeli police officer killed Monday when Palestinian gumen opened fire on his transport vehicle in the West Bank was due to get married in two months after "waiting a long time for someone to be excited with", his family said after learning of his death.

"How is it fair?" asked 39-year-old Yehoshua (Shuki) Sofer's finance,  Einav Bloom, after she was informed that her future husband was killed in the attack on the vehicle carrying officers to their stations in Hebron.

Yehoshua (Shuki) Sofer

Two more policemen were wounded in the attack and are currently hospitalized in Hadassa hospital in Jerusalem.

"He was a kind man, with a big soul, who always helped his friends and family," Sofer's father Yosef told reporters, adding: "He was about to get married and everything was already prepared. He waited a long time to find some one who he could be excited with, and he was very happy about his wedding."

Sofer called his son "an outstanding policeman who loved the police force with all his heart. He was never concerned about the location of his job, but we were scared and worried."

His mother, Dalia, described the morning before her son's death as any other. "I spoke to him this morning," she said, "I made him something to drink before he left, and like every other day he kissed me goodbye before he headed out."

Yosef added that "at 8:30 A.M. police officers knocked on our door and told us that Yehoshua was seriously injured in traffic accident and that he had been transferred to the hospital. When we got there we were met by senior police officers and the Police commander, and the defense minister [Ehud Barak] spoke to us on the phone. Several hours later he died."

Following the shooting, the head of the Civil Administration, the Israeli military authority that governs the West Bank, accused Palestinian Authority leaders of not enough to prevent violence. Brig-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said the attack was a "serious incident" that could not be overlooked.