Terror victims leave 16 orphans; Child witnessed father die after battling terrorist

One of the victims fought with a terrorist, saving his six-year-old son and others, his grieving widow wrote on Facebook.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The three victims murdered by two Palestinian terrorists Thursday night in Elad have been identified as fathers of large families, collectively leaving 16 orphans behind.

Yonatan Habakuk, 44, had five children. One of them, six years old, was with him when a terrorist approached.

The child witnessed his father do battle with his axe-wielding assailant, and he saw his father die. He called out to people for help; paramedics rushed over, but there was nothing they could do.

The boy then ran home and told his mother that his father had been killed. The grieving widow wrote that night on the “Only in Elad” Facebook page, “My heart refuses to believe that I was left alone with five orphans. My heart burns that my tender child saw his father in his last moments.”

She believes that Yonatan died a hero.

“My husband fought against them with great heroism and saved many lives. He fought with them for long minutes, which allowed many to flee the scene,” she added.

Habakuk, who worked as a car mechanic, was well-known in the town. He always had a smile on his face, “and a desire to help” others, residents told the media. “Everyone called him ‘our brother,’” they said, “because he’d always ask smilingly, ‘What’s up, our brother?’ Today, our brother is no longer with us.”

Boaz Gol, 49, was also a local who left behind five orphans. He was an employee of one of the synagogues next to the park where the attack took place.

Oren Ben Yiftach, 35, a resident of Lod and father of six, was the first to be murdered, according to eye-witnesses.

Lod Mayor Yair Revivo wrote on Facebook that “hearts are shattered” in “a family that has experienced terrible disasters in recent years.”

“We are accompanying the family at this unbearable time,” he added. “May God avenge his blood quickly.”

The terrorists struck three other men hard during their murderous spree. Two of them, aged 75 and 38, are still in life-threatening condition after being taken to Beilinson Hospital. The third, 20, is in critical but stable condition, hooked to a ventilator in the neurosurgery intensive care unit at Sheba Medical Center.

As of this writing, the manhunt for the terrorists is still ongoing.