Tel Aviv terror victim Or Ashkar succumbs to wounds

Shot in the neck during an attack on March 9, Ashkar is the 15th Israeli murdered by a Palestinian terrorist since the beginning of the year.

By JNS and World Israel News Staff

Or Ashkar, 32, died on Monday from a bullet wound to the neck sustained during a terror attack in Tel Aviv on March 9.

Ashkar was wounded when 23-year-old Palestinian Mutaz al-Khawaja, a Hamas member from Ni’lin beyond the Green Line, opened fire outside a cafe on the corner of Dizengoff and Ben-Gurion Streets in the heart of the coastal city.

The terrorist also shot Rotem Mansano, 34, and Michael Osdon, 36.

“Or came to us after extensive resuscitation attempts in the field, which were ongoing in the hospital, and he was immediately taken to the operating room where against all odds doctors managed to stabilize his condition,” Roni Gamzu, director of Ichilov Hospital, said on Monday.

“Unfortunately, the severity of the wounds were fatal, and after a lengthy struggle over a number of days…we were forced to declare his death.”

The three Israeli friends were on their way to a wedding when they were attacked by al-Khawaja, who fled the scene while firing at other people before being killed in a shootout with police officers.

“A light of rare quality, which showered nothing but goodness, love and giving on everyone who crossed its path, went out today. Thanks on our behalf to all the staff at the Ichilov Hospital, who for days and nights did everything they could with professionalism, dedication and sensitivity,” Natalie Ashkar, mother of the victim, said in a statement.

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“To the dozens of amazing friends who surrounded us day and night, hugged and cried with us during the whole week that will be engraved in our hearts forever. To all the people of Israel who were with us, strengthened, supported and prayed – each in his own way and according to his faith.”

The attack was the latest in a wave of terrorism to strike Israel.

On Sunday, a terrorist opened fire at a car on Route 60 in the Arab village of Huwara, just outside Nablus, seriously injuring 41-year-old David Stern. A dual Israel-U.S. citizen from Itamar, Stern is a trainer of fast-response defense units made up of Jewish residents in Samaria. He served in the U.S. Marines Corps and is a martial arts expert, having trained in Japan.

He was able to shoot and partially incapacitate the terrorist, identified as Leith Nazar, 28, a resident of the village of Madama near Nablus (biblical Shechem).

On Feb. 26, a Palestinian attacker gunned down brothers Hallel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv while they were driving on Route 60 in Huwara.

The next day, Palestinian terrorists killed Israeli-American Elan Ganeles near the Beit Ha’arava Junction, close to Jericho in the Jordan Valley.

Earlier in February, a terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood claimed the lives of Yaakov Israel Paley, 6, his brother, Asher Menachem Paley, 8, and 20-year-old Alter Shlomo Lederman. Three days later, Border Police Staff Sgt. Asil Sawaed, 22, died from wounds sustained in a terrorist attack at a checkpoint to Shuafat in Jerusalem.

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On Jan. 27, seven people were killed and several others were wounded in a terrorist shooting rampage at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood.

Ashkar’s family has arranged for his organs to be donated. Four Israelis have regained their sight thanks to the corneas donated by the bereaved Yaniv family.

“We hoped and prayed. Unfortunately, Or Eshkar, who was injured in the attack in Tel Aviv, died today from his wounds. My heart is broken. I send my condolences to his family and friends. May his memory be blessed,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Ashtar’s funeral will be held with family and friends only.