Thousands Attend Funeral of Couple Killed in West Bank

President Reuven Rivlin and Chief Rabbi David Lau eulogize the couple; 9-year-old Matan Henkin says Kaddish for his parents.

Emil Salman

Thousands attended the funeral in Jerusalem on Friday morning for Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were killed in a shooting attack in their car near the settlement of Itamar on Thursday evening. The funeral was also attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Chief Rabbi David Lau, and many government ministers and Knesset members.

The couple's son, nine-year-old Matan, said Kaddish for his parents at the funeral.

Hannah, Eitam's mother, eulogized her son and his wife, who left behind four children, a nine-year-old, a seven-year-old, a four-year-old and a four-month old baby. Hannah promised along with Naama's parents to "raise your children as you would have." Hila Armoni, Naama's mother, added, "you left us the most precious gift of all, your beloved children who survived miraculously. We will do our best to continue in your ways."

President Rivlin also spoke about the couple. "It's impossible to stand quiet before a beloved mother and father, whose were cruelly taken from their children by the hands of murders," he said. Rivlin also noted that he had looked at Eitam Henkin's written Torah commentary, and called him "a brilliant scholar, brave and original, a giant, and son of a great family, a spiritual leader who was also a man of actions."

"We're standing witness to a cruel terror offensive, and you're at the front lines, paying the heaviest price," added Rivlin while addressing the residents of the Neria, where the couple lived. "Terror has been with us since we began building this nation," Rivlin said. "We've never ceased building because of terror, and nor will we. Terror has never shook our foundation, and it will never shake our hold on this land. That's how it was, is, and will be."

Rabbi David Lau also spoke at the funeral. "You think of children and wonder who will bless them at the Shabbat meal, who will be with them on holidays, who will eat with them at the Shabbat table," he said. "You ponder and think of this brilliant scholar, and unique, modest woman, and the pain is so big. Perhaps because of this, we will actually see the strength of the Jewish people as we try to remain happy for the holiday, despite this."

Following the murder, tensions are high in Jerusalem and the Nablus area. Last night, four additional Israel Defense Forces battalions were sent to Nablus, and the area has been put on lockdown in attempts to find the Palestinian terrorists responsible for the attack.

The Israel Police have limited entry to the Temple Mount to persons over 40 years old following the attack, and have sent reinforcements to Jerusalem's Old City and the surrounding area. "We will show zero tolerance for any attempt to create disorder or disrupt the public peace or safety," stated the police spokeperson.

Right-wing activists are planning to stage a series of demonstrations in various locations throughout Israel in response to the murders, including the village of Furik, near where the attack took place. Demonstrations are set to take place in Jerusalem, Be'er Sheva, Bat Yam, Dimona, Afula, the Ra'anana Junction, as well as at the Shilat Junction and the Negohot outpost near Hebron.