Hundreds Attend Funeral of 29-year-old West Bank Attack Victim

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Husband of Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond at her funeral, October 7, 2018.
Husband of Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond at her funeral, October 7, 2018.Credit: Meged Gozani
Yaniv Kubovich
Jack Khoury

Hundreds attended the funeral of Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond, 29-year-old who was killed in a West Bank shooting attack on Sunday at a factory in the Barkan Industrial Zone. 

Yehezkel-Levengrond, one of two people killed in the attack, was married with one son and lived in Rosh Ha’ayin, where she was buried. 

Yehezkel-Levingrond's mother called out at her funeral, “It can't be that I have to cover you in dirt, it makes no sense. My Kim, I don't want to. Where are you going, my daughter? Where?”

Ziv Hajbi, 35, and Kim Yehezkel, 29, the victims of a deadly shooting in the West Bank, October 7, 2018.

The assailant was identified as Ashraf Walid Saliman Na'alwa, a 23-year old from the West Bank village of Shuwaykah who worked at the Alon recycling plant, where the attack took place. Before carrying out the deadly shooting, Na'alwagave a coworker a note in which he said he planned to commit suicide and praised late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The note has led security forces to conclude that the shooting was a terror attack.

>> Analysis: Following attack, Israeli defense officials fear collective punishment could ignite West Bank

Yehezkel-Levingrond worked in the financial department of Alon, a recycling factory in the Barkan industrial park. Her cousin Ron described her as “a happy girl, overflowing with goodness, who made sure things were good for everyone and everything around her.”

The Palestinian shooter seen fleeing the scene after opening fire at a factory in the West Bank on October 7, 2018.Credit: Screengra / YouTube / Haaretz

Another cousin, Sapir, said Yehezkel-Levengrond had worked at Alon while studying for the bar exam.

“Kim was someone full of the joy of life, beautiful both outside and inside,” Sapir said. “She was a mother in the fullest sense of the word, a proud mother who adored her son and her husband Guy. She was a happy person.”

Natalie, a friend, said that when Yehezkel-Levengrond brought her toddler son to preschool Sunday morning, “she was smiling and happy ... We haven’t yet digested this enormous disaster.”

The other victim, Ziv Hajbi, was a 35-year-old married father of three who worked as an accountant at the plant. Hajbi will be laid to rest on Monday at noon.

To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz

Security forces raided Na'alwa's home, interrogated his relatives and arrested suspected accomplices. Na'alwa's father said an older brother was arrested in the raid. The suspect himself has yet to be found. 

“He was a quiet guy who didn’t look for trouble,” said the father, who works in Israel. “I don’t know what came over him. He may have had an argument with someone there and decided to do what he did. As of now we know nothing about the circumstances. I was very surprised by what happened; there was no sign he was planning such a thing.”

The father denies the possibility that a family dispute led him to commit the attack or that the act had any religious motivations. 

“There was no significant dispute or atmosphere that pushed him to this,” he said. “A few months ago he had a fight with his brother, but that ended and he started to work in the factory in Barkan. I think this had to do with work. If he’d wanted to die, he wouldn’t have fled and he wouldn’t be hiding.”

Na'alwa had been working as an electrician in the plant for the past four months. People at the plant said he’d been absent from work for the past two weeks. According to witnesses, Na'alwa arrived at work at 7 A.M. on Sunday morning and took a rifle and zip-ties from his office. He then went up to the office where Yehezkel-Levengrond sat and tied her hands before shooting her, leading investigators to suspect he may have intended to take hostages.

A worker in an office adjacent to Yehezkel’s heard something unusual and when she came to have a look, the gunman shot her in the stomach. The wounded woman managed to get back to her office, where she hid under the desk until rescuers came. Na'alwa then allegedly shot Yehezkel twice.

Hajbi, who tried to flee when he heard the shots, was also fatally shot. 

Na'alwa then encountered another worker, who drew his pistol and tried to shoot him, but missed. Na'alwa tried to fire back at the worker, but his rifle jammed and he fled.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: