The four victims of the terror attack on a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday were named Saturday by CRIF, an umbrella group of French Jewish communities.
The four victims are Yoav Hattab, 21, Yohan Cohen, 20, Philippe Braham, 45, and Francois-Michel Saada, 64.
A relative of Yoav Hattab said Yoav had just returned to Paris from a visit to Israel as part of the “Taglit-Birthright” project on Wednesday.
Hattab left behind six brothers and was living in Paris alone, where he was studying.
His father, the Shliach Rabbi Benyamin Hattab, is the Menahel of Chabad Talmud Torah in Tunis. He was the right hand man of the Tunisian Head Shliach Rabbi Pinson for many years, and remains a pillar of the Chabad mosdos in the country.
After Shabbos was over, he was informed of the tragedy and flew to France immediately.
“You took a part of me, I have no words to describe my sadness. I am destroyed for all my life. All our futures plans, all we had promised, how am I going to do this without you?” With those heartbreaking words, Sharon Seb said goodbye to her boyfriend Yohan Cohen, 20.
Yohan has been working at the kosher supermarket for the past year and was killed early on in the attack, after the supermarket’s doors closed, his cousin Yonatan told Ynet.
“The police told the family the terrorist threatened to kill a three-year-old boy, and Yohan tried to stop it. He managed to grab the terrorist’s weapon but before Yohan had a chance to shoot him, the terrorist put a bullet in his head and killed him on the spot,” Yonatan said.
“My life was made for you, just for you. I’m speechless, I really cannot comprehend that I lost the love of my life. I can never recover,” girlfriend Sharon Seb wrote on her Facebook page. “You were so healthy, pure, perfect. I do not want to come to terms with the fact I’d lost you. I do not know how I’m going to continue to live without you, I do not know how to stand, how to have the strength to survive without you by my side,” she wrote.
Philippe Braham was a father of four, an Observant Jew who attended the Montrouge synagogue, a Parisian suburb.
His children attend the Chabad school in Montrouge. The school is located nearby where the policewoman was shot by the two terrorists before they attacked the Kosher Supermarket.
Philippe was a computers engineer and recently worked as an insurance agent near the supermarket. He went shopping there before the Shabbat when the attack occurred.
Philippe had a son who passed away three years ago.
Francois-Michel Saada, who was born in Tunis, was a pension fund manager. He was a father of two, with both his children living in Israel.
“He led his life for the happiness of his family. A husband and an exemplary father,” one of his friends said.
The four hostages killed in the attack on a Paris kosher supermarket on Friday will be laid to rest on Tuesday in the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem, according to Robert Ejnes, the director of the CRIF, an umbrella organization of French Jewish communities, who is coordinating the transfer of the victims’ bodies to Israel.
Meanwhile in France, a “silent march” against terrorism is planned for Sunday in Paris. Among the expected participants are European leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s David Cameron and Italy’s Matteo Renzi with President Francois Hollande.
Arab League representatives and some Muslim African leaders as well as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will attend.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will leave for Paris on Sunday to represent Israel in the silent march.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considered attending the march as well, but the possibility was rejected over security considerations. He might, however, attend a solidarity event organized by the Jewish community for later in the week.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged a massive turnout on Sunday. Tens of thousands flocked to local vigils on Saturday, with 80,000 in Toulouse and 30,000 in the Riviera city of Nice and a similar number in Pau in the southwest.
Customer tried to snatch terrorist’s weapon
This week’s drama, which played out on live TV and social media, began with the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi coldly and methodically massacring 12 people Wednesday at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
They fled the scene and eluded police for two days, robbing a gas station and stealing a car. Cherif Kouachi was wounded in the throat by police at one point, the Paris prosecutor said, but the brothers got away. They went on to take a hostage at a printing house in Dammartin-en-Goele near Charles de Gaulle Airport on Friday, prompting a daylong standoff with police.
On Thursday, Amedy Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death south of Paris. He, too, fled. Police later determined he was linked to the Kouachi brothers.
Then on Friday he attacked the Hyper Cacher market at Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris, killing four hostages and threatening more violence unless the police let the Kouachis go.
Marie, a Jewish customer who had been one of the hostages inside the Kosher supermarket, described the first moments of the attack when Amedy Coulibaly arrived at the supermarket.
“He came in wearing a bullet-proof vest. He had two Kalashnikov rifles, a gun and a knife. He shot two people at the entrance. One of the customers tried to take one of his weapons, but was unable to fire. (Coulibaly) shot him in the head immediately,” said Marie. The brave customer is believed to be Yohan Cohen.
Marie, who was interviewed by the BFMTV TV channel, described a horrifying scene inside the supermarket. She said one female victim lay on the ground and died during the wait for police to arrive at the scene.
According to Marie, one of the supermarket workers was able to hide and direct police forces on how to enter the site while another individual was able to flee to an elevator, carrying the keys to the supermarket with him, which he took to the top floor of the market where he left the building using an emergency exit. He was then able to give the keys to police.
Despite the scarring scenes she witnessed, Marie says she will not let the attack frighten her. “I have no intention of staying locked up at home and or being scared,” said Marie after the attack.
It all ended at dusk Friday with near-simultaneous raids at the printing plant and the kosher market in eastern Paris.