Chabad.org & COLlive.com
Photos: Tomer Shonam
Thousands of mourners from across Israel gathered in Jerusalem and Ashkelon Friday at the funerals of two Israeli soldiers killed in a terrorist shooting on Thursday in the central West Bank.
Another soldier wounded in the attack remains in critical condition after emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to the head.
A fourth soldier was critically injured on Friday morning when hit in the head with a stone after struggling with an infiltrator near Beit El.
Other victims injured in several terrorist attacks this week in Judea and Samaria were reported recovering from their wounds in Jerusalem hospitals.
Sgt. Yosef Cohen, 19, from Beit Shemesh, and Staff Sgt. Yovel Moryosef, 20, from Ashkelon were killed when a terrorist leaped out of his car and opened fire as a group stood at a bus stop near the West Bank outpost of Givat Asaf.
The attacker fled the scene. The soldiers were members of the Kfir Brigade’s Netzah Yehuda infantry battalion, also known as Nahal Haredi, comprised of strictly Torah-observant soldiers.
“You were pure gold, just completely pure gold,” said Cohen’s stepfather, Rabbi Eliyahu Meirav, at the section of the Mount of Olives cemetery reserved for Breslov Chassidim.
“You were nineteen-and-a-half, not even 20 yet. Yosef, sweet boy, good boy—I never believed this moment would come. But we all believe that G‑d gives, and G‑d takes away.”
“All the years I raised you, wonderful boy, holy, pure. You were full of love and generosity, all soul.”
Moryosef’s funeral was held at the military cemetery in his home town of Ashkelon in the south.
Some 2,000 people came to pay their respects to the 20-year-old, who was supposed to return home on Thursday morning but volunteered to remain with his unit to give other soldiers time off.
Moryosef’s former high school Ohr Menachem Chabad was opened on Thursday evening for friends to pay their respects.
“The whole Chabad family in Ashkelon is feeling great pain and are mourning his loss,” said Rabbi Mendel Lieberman, Head Shliach and Director of Chabad institutions in Ashkelon.
“The family is especially close to Chabad and Yuval’s sister learned in our school Ohr Chaya. We will all lend and hand and help the family with anything they need,” he said.
Rabbi Dovid Kestenbaum, principal of the Ohr Menachem Chabad school, praised the good qualities of Yuval, especially his willingness to to give and assist others who need help.
He noted the excitement of finding a certificate in the school’s archive proclaiming Yuval Moryosef a “general” in the Chabad youth movement Tzivos Hashem.
Terrorist attacks continued on Friday, when a 21-year-old soldier was critically injured after being struck in the head by a stone near Beit El, north of Jerusalem. The soldier was transported to the trauma unit of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where the hospital spokesperson reports he is in critical condition, on an assisted breathing apparatus.
Shira Ish-Ran, whose baby was laid to rest last week, and Shira Sabag, also injured earlier in the week, are showing signs of improvement, according to Shaare Zedek Nedical Center in Jerusalem.