Israeli student Eliyahu Asheri murdered after being kidnapped by Mahmoud' Abbas's Fatah terrorist group
June 29, 2006
Israel At Level Ground http://betbender.blogspot.com
Grieving mother of Eliyahu Asheri, Miriam and family soon after receiving confirmation of the slaying of their son. (Photo: Alex Kolomoiski, Ynet.co.il)
Noted US immigrant author, columnist and colleague Judy Lash Balint of www.Jerusalemdiaries.com talks about the feelings on Jerusalem's streets the morning of the discovery of the body of Eliyahu Asheri, 18, of the northern Samaria community of Itamar, kidnapped earlier this week in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, as heartwrenching events locally continue to dramatically unfold, and tense Israelis hang on every webpage, blog, radio and tv newscast, beeper, SMS and scrap of recounted information, 'New York Jewish Week' Associate Editor Jonathon Mark decides that now is the time to pull the rug out from support for Israelis, telling Balint, point blank to cut and run: "Come home to America, where Jewish homes aren't rocketed for months on end, where Jews will fight back if attacked, not apologize."
Body of Kidnapped Israeli Civilian Found Thursday, June 29, 2006
(IsraelNN.com) IDF forces operating in Ramallah found the body of Eliyahu Asheri, 18, from Itamar, who had been kidnapped by Arab terrorists on Sunday. Asheri's body was found Wednesday night in an open area in Ramallah based on information obtained by General Security Services from a Palestinian Authority Arab, a member of Fatah, suspected of involvement in the kidnapping and murder, who was captured yesterday.
It appears that Asheri was murdered on the same day he was taken hostage. And the organization that carried out the kidnapping and murder is Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).
The family has been notified. Eliyahu was a student at the pre-military yeshiva academy in N'vei Tzuf, in the western Binyamin area. He was last seen at 9:00 p.m. Sunday at the French Hill junction in northern Jerusalem, where hundreds of people wait for rides northward every day.
Asheri shot in head immediately after kidhapping
The IDF confirmed early Thursday a report the Popular Resistance Committees issued from Gaza that it had executed Eliyahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar, who was kidnapped earlier this week in the West Bank. Asheri's family has been notified.
His funeral was scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. in Jerusalem, with the funeral procession to pass from Beit Sanhedria to the Mount of Olives in the city.
OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh revealed Thursday morning that the youth had been shot in the head immediately after the kidnapping on Sunday.
[For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here]
On Wednesday, elite police and IDF forces arrested Popular Resistance Committees operative Osam Abu Rajil, who was suspected to have been involved in the kidnapping. Abu Rajil led the forces to a mountainside north of Ramallah, where Asheri's body was found buried, Army Radio reported.
Naveh confirmed Thursday that Abu Rajil was personally involved in the kidnapping.
Thousands attend Eliyahu Asheri's funeral
Thousands of people attended the funeral of Eliyahu Asheri in Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon. Asheri was murdered after being kidnapped by terrorists on Sunday.
The funeral procession passed from Beit Sanhedria to the Mount of Olives in the city.
Eliyahu's mother, Miriam, eulogized: "Eliyahu, our darling, you went up in a storm of the night like Elijah the prophet," she continued.
Miriam fondly recounted how the family would sit around the Shabbat table and how Eliyahu taught them, time and time again, not to judge people, "not by outward appearances nor by stigmas."
"I have one big request for you Eliyahu," Miriam said, "when you stand before God, please defend the people of Israel in all its actions."
Hours after she was notified of her son's death, Miriam told Israel Radio, "The pain is great, almost too great to bear. But one thing I feel, despite all this…is that in the wake of disagreements between our brethren, with our different worldviews and different relationships to the land of Israel that creates a lot of conflict, a lot of anger, a lot of argument - many times, I've asked G-d that he should first of all grant me love for everyone in my heart, and … that He should show me the special quality of the nation of Israel, and that I should succeed - that we should all succeed in loving each other…truly from the heart."
Miriam said it became clear to her during the course of these trials and tribulations, how wonderful Israel really is. She expressed gratitude to all the people who called to offer moral support.
"The help there was… I don't have the words to describe how encouraging [it was]…how everyone was truly so wonderful," she said.
"And I think this was also Eliyahu's way. …Whenever there was a fight, he would always say, 'Stop, everyone should have their place…,' and his way was always one of peace. And I think this is an impetus - god forbid we should ever have such a terrible impetus - but an impetus for true unity between all factions, despite disagreements - and they do exist - but to see the good in the Jewish nation…."
According to Miriam, "What strengthens you is, first of all, knowing that everything is from God, knowing that to die sanctifying God's name, as he did - that God chose him to sanctify the name of heaven in public. This is the thing that comforts us. Any other comfort is trivial in my estimation, it doesn't let my spirit rest."
Regarding the family of Gilad Shalit, Asheri said it always pains her to hear of the troubles of other Jews, but knowing that she was not alone in her pain made it easier to bear. "It allows me to get out of it for a moment, but it always pains me greatly - a very deep pain for each and every one - the parents, the neighborhood, all of Israel."
Yitro Asheri said his son was always a peacemaker. "The last day I saw you, you were in our house in Itamar, and you made peace between your siblings," he said.
Asheri was a student at a pre-military academy at the settlement of Neveh Tzuf in the West Bank. He disappeared Sunday night as he hitchhiked to meet fellow students for a hike.
At Asheri's funeral, Druckman eulogized his 18-year-old grandson. "We know the sun sets in the evening, but if it suddenly sets in the middle of the day... Eliahu, you were as bright as the sun," he said, in between sobs.
Speaking at the funeral, Samaria Regional District head Bentzi Leiberman accused the government of negligence in providing security for its citizens. "The government has forgotten who the real enemy is," Leiberman said. "The prime minister is not succeeding in looking after lives, not in Sderot, and not in Itamar," he said.
"Woe upon us that a grandfather has to eulogize his grandson," said NRP MK Yitzhak Levy. "Eliahu, pray before God that no harm will come to Itamar, not from our enemies, and not from our brothers," he said, speaking after Druckman.
The sound of wailing mourners echoed through the hall during the eulogies. Metzger escorted the weeping father from the hall. Hugging and crying, Asheri's family followed them outside. Following the service, a funeral convoy carried mourners to the Mount of Olives, where Asheri was buried.