The parents and four siblings of Ezra Schwartz visited the West Bank spot on Sunday where the American yeshiva student was killed by a Palestinian assailant who fired at the vehicle in which he was riding to a volunteer project with several other yeshiva students.
“I just knew that I needed to come to Israel,” Ruth Schwartz told The Jerusalem Post. “I just felt sad that he is not with us, and I was not here with him when it happened.”
The family also visited the Oz Vegaon Nature Preserve in Gush Etzion, where Ezra had volunteered. They attended a ceremony at the park to mark the completion of a new trail, part of an area dedicated in the teen’s memory.
The park was established last year in memory of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaer, teenagers who were kidnapped in June 2014 by Palestinians from a traffic junction in Gush Etzion and later killed by their captors. The area had been a neglected forest filled with garbage before being converted into a nature reserve by the right-wing Women in Green organization.
The Schwartzes’ visit comes five weeks after Ezra was killed on November 18.
Ari Schwartz said the family has felt a “tremendous amount of support” from people in their community, as well as Jews across the United States and around the world.
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