Thousands Attend Funeral of Haifa Police Chief Perished in Carmel Fire

Police chief Ahuva Tomer succumbs to wounds sustained in Carmel fire; 'that fire annihilated so much, and with Ahuva it has now taken the best of the best,' Peres says.

Fadi Eyadat
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Fadi Eyadat

Thousands of mourners attended Monday the funeral of Brigadier General Ahuva Tomer, the highest ranking woman officer in the Israel Police, who died earlier in the day after succumbing to critical injuries sustained in the huge Carmel forest fire last week.

Tomer, who headed the Haifa Police Department, was critically injured on Thursday driving behind a bus full of prison guards that burned up in the flames.

Top government officials attended the funeral held at the military cemetery in Haifa, including Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Police Commissioner David Cohen.

"You, Ahuva, our solid rock, only the forces of nature could match you," Cohen said. "Your internal spark died down in the flames that left us all grief-stricken."

Earlier, President Shimon Peres said after Tomer's death that "she had an extraordinary personality, a rare combination of a mother and a commander. When her vehicle touched the flames she looked from the outside upon us. This was a moment that none of us will forget, the moment before her death, the height of her valor "

"That fire annihilated so much, and with Ahuva it has now taken the best of the best," Peres said.

Deputy Commander Tomer is considered to be one of the best-known and highest-ranking officers in the northern region. She made history in 1997 when she was appointed police commander in Nahariya, and again in 2009 when she was appointed commander of the Haifa station, the largest in Israel.

Tomer is highly respected by her fellow officers and is known for maintaining good relations with the media. Officers that have worked with her describe her as dedicated and professional, and that although she advanced the case of women in the police force, she never used her own status as a woman as political leverage.

She is survived by her partner Danni Rosen.

Haifa Police Chief Ahuva Tomer laid to rest in Haifa, Monday, December 6, 2010. Credit: Dror Artzi

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