Yehuda Guetta, 19, mourned: “Everything you did in life, you did with excellence, agility and perseverance.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The teenage victim of a Palestinian terror attack was laid to rest Thursday as his tearful family mourned the loss of the student who was praised for growing up with the values of “loving and accepting the other.”
Yehuda Guetta and two other 19-year-old students were shot on Sunday while waiting near a bus stop north of Jerusalem. One student was lightly wounded, but Guetta and Benaya Peretz were critically wounded. Guetta died Thursday morning while Peretz remains in hospital.
The funeral in Jerusalem was attended by hundreds of family and friends, including several politicians who eulogized Guetta as having the highest values in life before he was cut down.
Yehuda’s mother, Milka, described the surreal experience of hearing of the attack on the news, then trying to call him and having her son’s phone answered by somebody at the hospital emergency department who warned her to brace for the worst. The family rushed to his bedside in Beilinson Hospital as medical teams fought to save his life.
“Everyone was important to him,” his mother said. “When we saw him, we had four days of grace, during which we could say goodbye to him and we were by his side.”
“The Creator of the world created and chose you to enter in the company of the righteous who were killed for the sanctification of God’s name,” said his father, Rabbi Elisha Guetta.
His older brother Zvi mourned the family loss, saying it was a privilege for them to have had Yehuda as a sibling.
“Everything you did in life, you did with excellence, agility and perseverance,” Zvi said through tears, adding that Yehuda had planned to serve in an elite military unit but his life had been one of fulfillment nonetheless.
“You started the beginning of your life with great virtue and ended it with great virtue. You have been privileged to fulfill the verse ‘and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.'”
His 14-year-old brother Aviad spoke of his big brother who was “dedicated and caring,” pledging to do his best to fulfill Yehuda’s goal and make it to the same elite IDF unit.
Shortly after Guetta died, Israeli security forces announced they had captured the terrorist identified as Muntasir Shalabi, 44, who was hit by a bullet after IDF soldiers returned fire as he sped away from the scene. Shalabi managed to evade capture for several days until surrendering Thursday morning after being surrounded by security forces who had arrested a dozen of his family and friends suspected of helping hide the killer.
At the funeral, Guetta’s uncle said: “A terrorist took the life of our family member. He was not killed because his name is Yehuda Guetta, but because he is a Jew who lives here in the Land of Israel. We grew up on the values of loving and accepting the other, but not murder. Murder is an inconceivable act. We very much hope that the terrorist who took his life will be punished.”