Thousands attend funerals of Sgt. Yossi Cohen and Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor-Yosef
Thousands of Israelis attended Friday the funerals of the two combat soldiers murdered by Muslim terrorists in a drive-by shooting near the Jewish community of Givat Assaf in Binyamin.
Hundreds mourned Sgt. Yossi at the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where a civilian service was held and not a military one, at the request of the family.
Yossi’s stepfather, Rabbi Eliyahu Merav, who lost his son-in-law in a terrorist attack nine years ago, eulogized him:
“Yosef, sweet boy, righteous boy, I never believed that this moment would ever come. We all believe that God gives and God takes away, but we didn’t know, we didn’t believe, we never thought. How many years did I raise you, a wonderful child, holy, pure, full of love.”
“Dear Yosef, now you see the senseless hatred that is raging here… Pray for us from above,” he said, breaking down as he spoke.
“Last Shabbat, Yossi told us: ‘I thank God for granting me to protect the people of Israel with my body.’ A pure soul,” Merav said.
Cohen’s commander in the army, Mati Shevah, said: “You fell on the mission you were sent on. You were a true warrior. You overcame a lot of difficulties and all of it with joy and a smile. You were always ready to help everyone, even when everyone was tired.”
Yossi grew up and was educated in the Orthodox city of Bnei Brak in central Israel. He moved with his family to Beit Shemesh a few years ago, and a few months ago they moved to Jerusalem.
In Ashkelon, some 2,000 people attended the military funeral of Staff Sergeant Yovel Mor-Yosef.
Mordechai Mor-Yosef, the father of the soldier, remembered his son as a spiritual person dedicated to helping others. “You are a fun child, a child of Torah, a child of honoring your parents, a child with a girlfriend, a child of helping, you came into this world to help others. I ask one thing – do not stop helping in the world to come,” he said.
A family friend said that “he never hurt anyone. He was modest and shy. Enlisting was important to him. He wanted to be a combat soldier. When I asked him, he said: only a combat role.”
Yovel’s girlfriend, Michal Boganim, read aloud the eulogy she earlier posted on Facebook: “My head will not understand and my heart will not stop feeling the pain, love, regret, worry, anger. I was right when I thought you were the love of my life. You ended your life with the greatest love there is. You were so young and just next month you were supposed to celebrate your 21st birthday. It is not sinking in, my love, you were just a child. Who is this lowly murderous terrorist who took you from me? My warrior.”
The commander of the Kfir Brigade, Colonel Zion Ratzon, also eulogized the fallen soldier: “Yovel, I came here on behalf of the Netzach Yehuda Battalion, the Kfir Brigade and every IDF soldier to pay our last respects. Unfortunately, I did not know you personally, but in the last few hours, I have heard from many of your comrades and commanders. How in your youth you were a basketball player, but gave this up for meaningful service as a warrior in the Israel Defense Forces.”
The IDF is still hunting for the Muslim terrorists who carried out the terror attack, which left two others seriously wounded. One of the two, a civilian, is reportedly improving from her wounds, while the second injured man, another combat soldier, is still fighting for his life.
The IDF arrested 40 Muslim terrorists, including 37 Hamas terror group members, overnight in Judea and Samaria.
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Later on Friday, an IDF soldier was seriously wounded after a Muslim terrorist stabbed him and struck him with a rock at an IDF post next to the Jewish community of Beit El.
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The soldier was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem for medical treatment. Hospital officials reported that he was listed in serious condition and that he was unconscious and relying on a breathing machine.