Jerusalem synagogue massacre: Who were the victims?

Seven people were massacred on Friday evening at the beginning of the Jewish sabbath; another three were wounded. Who were the innocent victims?

By Pesach Benson, TPS

The Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Yaakov was left in mourning after a Palestinian terrorist gunned down seven victims outside the Ateret Abraham Synagogue on Friday night. Three others were seriously wounded in what was the deadliest Palestinian attack in years.

The Israel Police sealed off the home of Alqam Khayri, the terrorist who was killed after firing at police officers, on Sunday afternoon. And the Security Cabinet already decided to reinforce Israeli military and police in Judea and Samaria, among other measures.

Eli and Natali Mizrahi, a couple in their 40s, had been married for two years. Residents of the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, they were spending the Sabbath with Eli’s father, Shimon.

During dinner, they heard gunshots and ran outside to help.

Natali worked for 20 years in the food department of Hadassah University Hospital-Mount Scopus — where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

“Everyone who worked alongside her speaks of a warm woman, full of caring and a desire to do good to the patients she met every day, so her co-workers were not surprised when they heard that she rushed to help the injured last night,” said Dr. Yoram Weiss, Director-General of the Hadassah Medical Organization.

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Fourteen-year-old Asher Natan was the youngest of the victims. Following the family’s Sabbath dinner, he went out to meet some friends.

“He was murdered with unimaginable cruelty by a terrorist who did not stop even when he saw a pure-eyed boy,” said Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. “No one can describe the terrible pain of parents who have to bury their son but I want to tell them — Israel will always overcome.”

Natan was buried in Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives Cemetery.

Raphael Ben-Eliyahu was a 56-year-old who worked for the postal service. He was buried in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul Cemetery and leaves behind three children. One of his sons, Matan, was injured in the attack. According to Hadassah, Matan is conscious but in serious condition.

Shaul Chai was a synagogue sexton in the nearby community of Pisgat Zeev. The 68-year-old Chai was shot while walking back to Pisgat Zeev after having dinner with a relative.

Ilya Sosansky, worked as a bartender in downtown Jerusalem’s Cactus 9 bar. Sosansky was on his motorcycle heading to the bar when he was gunned down.

Former Knesset member Abir Kara, who knew Ilya, tweeted, “It’s so hard to talk about you in the past tense. You’re a lovely boy. Talented, full of joy for life, loving people, with a lot of modesty and humility,” adding “You didn’t have an ounce of ego. You gave everyone a good feeling.”

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The seventh fatality was Irina Korolova, a 59-year-old Ukrainian national who had worked as a caregiver in Neve Yaakov for six years.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his condolences on Twitter.

“We share [Israel’s] pain after the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. Among the victims is a [Ukrainian] woman,” Zelensky tweeted on Saturday. “Sincere condolences to the victims’ families. The crimes were cynically committed on the [International] Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

Korolova’s funeral arrangements are not clear.

The Friday night attack was the deadliest since August, 2011, when 10 terrorists from Gaza’s “Popular Resistance Committees” infiltrated Israel near Eilat from the Egyptian Sinai. The attack included an anti-tank rocket being fired at an Israeli car, a bomb detonated next to a military patrol, a suicide bomber and a shootout. Six Israeli civilians, two Israeli security personnel, five Egyptian soldiers were killed and 40 Israelis were injured.