Ariel terror victims, all of them fathers, mourned by their families, communities

“I’m in shock, I still cannot believe he’s gone,” said the wife of 36-year-old Michael Ladigin.

By World Israel News Staff

The three murdered victims of the terror attack Tuesday morning in the city of Ariel in Samaria were Moti Ashkenazi, 59; Michael Ladigin, 36; and Tamir Avihai, 50.

Avihai, the first to be identified, was buried Tuesday evening at the Barkan cemetery. A 50-year-old father of six – ranging in age from 12 to 29 – he lived in the nearby community of Kiryat Netafim.

“It is a difficult moment for all of us,” said Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council. “Tamir was a man full of light and kindness, with a will to help others, a man of grace and a full-hearted Zionist. Everyone who knew him loved him.”

Avi Baruch, a Kiryat Netafim community leader, said that “Tamir was always an inseparable part of Kiryat Netafim, and the entire village is in grief and pain. We hug the whole family in this difficult time, and support them with whatever it takes.”

Ashkenazi, a married father of three and grandfather of two, lived in the city of Yavne in the center of the country and was employed by Amisragas, an American-Israeli gas company as a supplier, in the Samaria region.

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He was “a loving person full of joy in life, an exemplary husband and a family man with a huge soul who always loved to help for everyone. He loved life and used every moment to wrap his family in warmth and love. It’s a great loss for all of us and everyone who knew him,” his family said.

The Yavne municipality issued a statement, saying, “It is with great sadness that we learned today of the death of the city’s resident, the late Moti (Mordechai) Ashkenazi, who was murdered in cold blood by a despicable terrorist in an attack in the industrial area of ​​Ariel. We share in the family’s grief.

“On behalf of the residents of the city, we are all supporting them in this difficult time.”

Michael Ladigin, 36, immigrated to Israel from Russia five years ago and lived in the city of Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv.

“We embrace Michael’s family, who immigrated to Israel five years ago out of Zionism,” Bat Yam Mayor Zvika Brot stated, adding the city offers full support to his wife and two children, ages seven and 12.

“I’m in shock, I still cannot believe he’s gone,” Ladigin’s wife told Kan News.

Three other victims were seriously wounded, including a man in his 40s with head and chest injuries who was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah and remains in serious condition. The other two victims, both in their 30s, are in stable condition, hospital officials said.

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The lone attacker, Muhammed Soof, had a permit to work as a cleaner in the Ariel Industrial Zone. A resident of the nearby Palestinian village of Hares, he arrived with knife in hand and stabbed a security guard multiple times before continuing on his rampage.

Footage from the gas station published online showed the terrorist approaching a man from behind and repeatedly stabbing him in the back. The assailant then stole a car and fled the scene, while security forces gave chase.

After driving a short distance, he exited the vehicle and stabbed two more people, before being neutralized.