‘I can’t believe I don’t have a father’
Hundreds of people accompanied Ofer Ben Ari Hy”d to his final resting place Thursday, a day after he was killed in the course of a terror stabbing attack in Jerusalem.
His daughter, Yael, sobbed as she eulogized him: “A 16-year-old girl buries her father,” she said. “It’s unbelievable. I can’t talk about you in the past tense. It is simply inconceivable.”
“You won’t accompany me in my wedding. You won’t see my children,” she continued her heartbreaking monologue. “It makes no sense. The home is sad and Mom is broken. And me? I can’t breathe, because a huge part of my life has gone. I can’t fathom that I don’t have a father, I am an orphan now.”
The Minister for Environmental Protection, Avi Gabbai, a childhood friend of Ofer Ben Ari’s, told those present: “I grew up with Ofer, and he was always a courageous person. You were always first, you always cared. I can imagine how you saw the hubbub and ran to take action.”
“The only consolation to the family is that Ofer prevented the terror attack from being bigger than it was,” he added. “Our great security network cannot arrest every single terrorist who gets up in the morning and buys a knife. We can keep being resolute. We are a strong nation and we will stay here forever, may God avenge your blood.”
The inquiry into the terror attack Wednesday near the Yafo (Jaffa) Gate into Jerusalem’s Old City indicates that Ben Ari pounced on the two terrorists barehanded, and kept them from attacking more Jews, besides the one they stabbed to death. Two female Border Police fired at the terrorists and killed them, but they also inadvertently hit Ben Ari, who died of his wounds in the hospital.
The man killed by the terrorists is Reuven Birmacher, 45; he suffered multiple stab wounds in the attack. Hadassah Medical Center announced his death just under an hour after Ben Ari’s. Birmacher is survived by his wife and seven children.
Recuperating at Shaare Zedek is another of the victims, who was seriously injured in the stabbing. His surgery was a success and he is now in stable condition.
The two Arab terrorists who conducted the stabbing were later identified as a pair of former convicts from Qalandiya, both of whom were arrested for terrorism and imprisoned in the past.