Blessed be their memory Photo Twitter IDFSpokesperson account LOGOOne father said, "We send them to the army and we know that maybe they won't come back. Did I ever think it would happen to me? Never."







Today Israel buried three of its daughters, one of its sons, murder victims of a vehicular terror attack in Jerusalem on Sunday, 8 January 2016.

Erez Orbach

Erez Orbach Photo Twitter AviMayer account

Erez was born and raised in the settlement of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion. He excelled as a student at the high school yeshiva he attended in Efrat. He later attended the Ma'alot hesder yeshiva, which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service.

Rabbi Yaakov Fisher, head of the latter school, spoke of Orbach's special qualities as a student and his desire to wear an IDF uniform.

"Erez was a boy full of motivation and was very determined, but also delicate on the inside, with principles, values and love for everyone. He had health problems and due to his low profile, he had to fight to volunteer for the IDF and go to officer's course. His is a very special family."

A special notice went out in Orbach's community of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion following news of his death. "He will be remembered for his perpetual smile and willingness to help for good causes."

Second Lieutenant Erez Orbach was laid to rest at Kfar Etzion cemetery on Monday at 11:00am.

Shira Tzur

Shira Tzur Photo Twitter StandWithUs account

Shira Tzur, 20, from Haifa, began her military service in the Israeli Air Force flight academy, but transferred to her current unit with the intent of becoming an officer.

According to a family friend, Shira was "full of happiness and loved to give and contribute. She was a counselor in the scouts and excelled in everything she did. Shira and her family were the salt of the earth and we all embrace them at this difficult moment. She was a child full of energy and was always smiling."

Mendi Rabinovich, Principal of the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa, said, "Her teachers said she always dreamed of being a pilot, but in the end, served in the Intelligence Corps. She was a spirited girl, socially active and very loving. It is difficult to believe when we lose graduates."

Second Lieutenant Shira Tzur was laid to rest on Monday at the Haifa Military Cemetery at 2:00pm. One father said, "We send them to the army and we know that maybe they won't come back. Did I ever think it would happen to me? Never."

Shir Hajaj

Shir Hajaj Photo Twitter AviMayer account

Shir Hajaj, from Ma'ale Adumim, was the oldest of four daughters. Following news of her death, her father sent a message to Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot saying, "These are all our children. We send them to the army and we know that maybe they won't come back. Did I ever think it would happen to me? Never."

Shir's mother, Merav, said that when she saw the report of the terrorist attack, she thought it targeted tourists. Only after discovering that the victims were cadets did she begin to contact hospitals.

"We stood by the door, praying that they (the officers tasked with informing soldiers' families of their death) wouldn't come and every minute they didn't come, we said it was a good thing. I called hospitals, local IDF offices and everywhere else.

"She was a flower and we expected great things from her. She had great determination and perseverance. There are no other children like her."

Lieutenant Shir Hajaj was laid to rest at the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery on Monday at 2:00pm.

Yael Yakutiel

Yael Yekutiel Photo Twitter AviMayer account

Friends and family arrived at the Yakutiel residence in Givatayim to mourn Yael. Many were unable to speak through the tears.

Yael's aunt, Malka Drori, said, "She loved life, loved everybody and everybody loved her. The family is still struggling to deal with what happened."

Friends of Yael said, "She had the biggest heart there is. She was a person full of light and happiness. Everything she did, she did for others. She fought to stay in the army in order to contribute more and be an officer."

Lieutenant Yael Yakutiel was laid to rest on Monday at the Military Cemetery in Kiryat Shaul at 3:00pm.


This is a lightly edited version of the original article published by YNet News at,7340,L-4904960,00.html

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