Israeli Octogenarian Seeks Recognition as Terror Victim After 80 Years

Yossef Lazarovsky's father and 4-year-old sister were murdered by Arabs in the 1929 Hebron massacre.

Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson

An Israeli octogenarian is seeking recognition by the state as having been orphaned by a terrorist attack, 80 years after his father and 4-year-old sister were murdered by Arabs in the 1929 Hebron massacre.

Yossef Lazarovsky, 86, said he remembers very well the day his father's killer entered the house where the family was hiding. "I saw the door broken down and a 45-year-old Arab with a thick mustache entered, holding an ax in one hand and a knife in the other," he recalled.

An Arab mob murdered 67 Jews in Hebron during the 1929 massacre, which occurred on August 23 and 24. The rest of the town's Jewish community was then evacuated by the British.

According to Lazarovsky, his parents, who had immigrated to Palestine from Lithuania two years earlier, were among some 70 Jews who had sought refuge in one of the town's buildings. The man who broke in was followed by a group of other knife-wielding Arabs, who began to butcher the occupants.

"They struck my 16-year-old uncle, Yisrael, with an ax and then stabbed him to death. My father got an ax in his throat. My grandfather told me to start praying with him, until he got an ax in his head. His blood covered my face. I fell to the floor and blacked out."

Lazarovsky's mother suffered severe lacerations, but survived.

He said it was "stupid" of him not have sued for recognition as a victim of terror earlier, but that it is not too late.

Following Lazarovsky's request for recognition and financial support as a terror victim, the National Insurance Institute retroactively issued his late father an identity number. However, the Defense Ministry rejected his application, saying the law on victims of terror applies only to incidents that occurred after 1967.

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