Shooting Attack Kills Israeli Cop, Bnei Brak Residents, Two Ukrainians

29-year-old Avishai Yehezkel and 36-year-old Yaakov Shalom are laid to rest a day after attack in their suburb of Tel Aviv

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Three of the shooting attack victims (from left): Yaakov Shalom, Amir Khoury and Avishai Yehezkel.
Three of the shooting attack victims (from left): Yaakov Shalom, Amir Khoury and Avishai Yehezkel.

Two Israeli civilians, two Ukrainian nationals and a police officer were killed in a Tuesday shooting attack in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, authorities confirmed.

Avishai Yehezkel, a 29-year-old father of one, is laid to rest in Bnei Brak on Wednesday morning. Some 300 people attended the funeral.

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His brother, Ovadia, told Kol Chai radio that "he was a special person. He defended his baby with his own body."

Yaakov Shalom, 36, was a father of five. His funeral is being held in the central city of Petah Tikva.

Two Ukrainian immigrants, aged 24 and 33, were also killed in the attack, the Ukrainian embassy in Israel confirmed.

People mourning at Avishai Yehezkel's funeral in Bnei Brak, on Wednesday.Credit: Tomer Applebaum
Avishai Yehezkel's funeral in Bnei Brak, on Wednesday.

Their names have not yet been released. According to Israeli officials, they were both in Israel for several years.

V, One of the Ukrainians killed in the attack, had a wife in Israel. His friend, Yulian, told Haaretz that the couple was building a house in Ukraine: "He invested all the money he earned in construction in that house. They wanted to leave Israel in Easter if the war had ended by them."

Yulian added that V's mother and family are in Ukraine and that the families of both victims are trying to transfer their bodies for burial in Ukraine. "It's dangerous here and it's dangerous there, I don't know where to go anymore," he said.

When asked if the two mens' families had requested that their remains be repatriated to Ukraine for burial, a Ukrainian embassy spokesperson told Haaretz that the embassy and its consular office were "providing necessary assistance, what is needed and requested" but declined to comment further on the matter.

The assailant, a resident of the West Bank village of Ya'bad, was shot dead by police forces.

One of the officers who was called to the scene of the attack, 32-year-old Amir Khoury, was killed. Khoury, a Christian Arab, will be laid to rest on Thursday in his town of Nof Hagalil, in Israel's north.

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai spoke with Khoury's family and told them that their son had "saved the lives of many civilians," calling him "a hero."

A Palestinian gunman killed five people on Tuesday in a suburb of Tel Aviv, in the third deadly attack in Israel within days, prompting police to go on the highest level of alert since the fighting with Gaza last year.

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