Hundreds Attend Funeral of Murdered Mother and Two Infant Sons

The husband and father of the victims was arrested shortly after the bodies of Dor Karsenti-Sela, 23, their sons and an 11-year-old neighbor were found.

The funeral of Dor Karsenti-Sela, 23, and sons Yosef, 22 months and Binyamin, eight months, in Migdal, northern Israel, Jan. 29, 2017.
Gil Eliahu

Hundreds of people attended the joint funeral on Sunday of Dor Karsenti-Sela, 23, and her sons Yosef, 22 months and Binyamin, eight months, who were stabbed to death on Saturday in the family’s apartment in the northern Israeli community of Migdal. Nadav Sela, Karsenti-Sela’s husband and the boys’ father, was taken into custody shortly after the bodies were found. Nahman Attia, 11, a neighbor who was visiting the family at the time of the murder, was also killed in the attack. His brother Natan, 10, who was also stabbed, was discharged from Rambam Medical Center on Sunday.

A female relative, addressing Karsenti-Sela during the service on behalf of Ravit Karsenti, Dor’s mother, cried out: “You were a model mother, a real lioness.”

Nahman Attia was buried in the same cemetery in the small community of Migdal earlier yesterday.

“The skies are too blue for such a black day,” a family friend said in a eulogy delivered on behalf of Yisrael Attia, the boy’s father. “Today I understand that I was privileged to be your father, but as always, one can appreciate this only after we are parted.”

Ravit Karsenti, speaking at her home in Migdal earlier on Sunday, said, “An indescribable disaster befell us yesterday. They took my daughter and my two grandchildren from me.”

Dor Sela and her two children, who were stabbed to death in the northern Israeli town of Migdal on January 28, 2017.

She said her daughter was a devoted wife, always calling her husband “my Nadav” or “my righteous one” and letting him learn full-time in yeshiva while she cared for the children.

She also said she was sure that Sela, 28, planned the murder. “He went around saying goodbye to people,” she said. “On Friday night, he sat at my table and asked forgiveness from my son-in-law Daniel, saying ‘I’m sorry if I hurt you, I’m sorry if I slandered you,’ and the same with other people in the community.”

A neighbor and friend of Karsenti-Sela’s related that while living next door to them, she had seen Sela “every day bringing her things from the grocery store on his bike; I would never have guessed he was capable of doing something like this.” She said she often saw Karsenti-Sela at the playground or the grocery store, “and things seemed to be good with her, as if she’d found her place.”

Another Migdal resident said that about an hour after the murder he saw Sela walking down the street, “white as whitewash; he saw us and lowered his head.” A few minutes later, police arrived, and soon afterward, they arrested him.

The Nazareth District Court on Sunday ordered Sela held without bail for 10 days. It also referred him to a psychiatric evaluation.

The uneral of Nahman Attia, 11, in Migdal, Jan. 29. 2017. The boy's father, Yisrael Attia, is at left.
Gil Eliahu

Speaking at the funeral, another relative said it was hard for her to speak of Karsenti-Sela and her sons in the past tense.

“When I think about them, I see angels, souls that never hurt anyone,” said the woman. “Dor, ever since you were a child, you had a halo around you. Everyone loved you and knew what kind of soul you had. You decided to return to religion; apparently God knew how good you are and wanted you close. But he wanted you too close for our taste. So we’ll let you go. Thank you for the time you spent with us. And the two little angels.”