Three Victims of Terror Attack in Central Israel Laid to Rest

Hundreds mourn at the funerals of Yonatan Havakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftah, who were killed in the terror attack in central Israel and together are survived by 16 children

Left to right: Yonatan Havakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftah.
Left to right: Yonatan Havakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftah.

The victims of the terror attack in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad in central Israel on Thursday were identified as Yonatan Havakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftah on Friday.

Havakuk, 44, and Gol, 49, were residents of Elad and fathers of five. Ben Yiftah, 35, was a resident of the central city of Lod and a father of six. Their funerals started at noon on Friday with hundreds in attendance.

Funeral of Oren Ben Yiftah in the central city of Lod, Friday.

Havakuk and Gol's funeral processions departed from near the scene of the attack in Elad at 12.30 P.M. They will be laid to rest in Jerusalem and Yarkon Cemetery in Petah Tikva respectively. Ben Yiftah was laid to rest in his hometown of Lod at 1 P.M.

Residents attested that Havakuk was an "outstanding" guy. "He was always smiling," a resident of Elad added.

Havakuk's daughter addressed her father at the funeral, saying "You would always have a smile for us, and you were the light of the house. Every morning when we got up you would ask us 'Did you open the morning with a smile?'

"You were an incredible father who sacrificed things for yourself to make your children happy," she said, adding "Thank you for the values I learned, I hope I can pass them on to my children."

Gol's sister-in-law told Kan Bet public radio that Gol "was a loving and caring man. His children asked me how they can move forward without their father. I told them that he went to bring the Messiah. There's no family without Boaz. He always took care of everyone. Not just his family."

Gol's son told Kan public broadcast that his father "was on his way to a Torah class when he was axed down... When I got home I was told that dad lost a lot of blood and didn't survive. He was always supportive of us. He would do everything around the house... We didn't think it would happen in Elad. Nothing like it ever happened around here."

"You knew. You were scared. You told me that you'll be joining your father and leave me here," Ben Yiftah's wife eulogized her husband, adding that "two days ago you heard the fireworks, and you thought it was gunshots. You didn't know what was waiting for you only two days after."

Ben Yiftah's neighbor told Haaretz that "he was a sweet and graceful man who was always smiling. He said he was worried about the terror attacks in recent weeks and inquired about getting a gun license."

Ben Yiftah's brothers told Kan that after searching for him relentlessly "A police officer asked us to come to the station, where she delivered the bitter news." Ben Yiftah "was a peaceful man," they added, "He was a happy father who gave everything all to his children."

"Our problem isn't the Arabs, but the government and the justice system. They're weak and confused… I ask of you, Boaz and Yonatan, tell the Lord to help the small group of confused people in Israel to repent. Either that or they can leave the country," The rabbi of the national religious community in Elad, Avraham Nahshon, said during a funeral speech that drew criticism and was condemned by attendees.

On Thursday, assailants killed three and wounded four in a terror attack in central Israel. The attack, which took place on Israel's Independence Day, was the latest in a series of deadly attacks inside Israel. Israeli forces are still waging a manhunt for two Palestinians suspected of carrying out the attack.

Over the past two months, a string of Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank have left 19 dead. Meanwhile, at least 27 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, some related to locating suspects behind the terror attacks.

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