Two Israelis orphaned by terrorism now engaged

Two orphans whose parents were killed months apart by terrorists in 2002 announced their engagement recently.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Two orphans who met at a support group for those robbed of their parents by Palestinian terrorism, found stronger support than they ever imagined and have announced their engagement, Yediot Ahronot reported Sunday.

Ayelet Dikstein survived an ambush on her family’s car in July 2002 in the South Hebron Hills. Fatah Tanzim terrorists opened fire from one side of the road. Her father, Yosef, saw someone he thought was a soldier coming from the other side so he stopped the car, which held his wife and six of his 10 children.

Instead, it was another terrorist, and he, his wife Hannah, and nine-year-old daughter Shuva-el were murdered. Another two of their children were injured. Young Ayelet helped her siblings during the attack.

Both Yosef and Hannah were teachers in religious high schools in Jerusalem, and had recently moved from the capital to village of Psagot in the Binyamin region, partly out of solidarity to strengthen the embattled community.

Gavish family

Four months previously, the Gavish family home in Elon Moreh was invaded by an Arab terrorist during the Passover holiday. He shot Avigdor’s parents, David and Rachel, Rachel’s father Yitzchak Kaner, and his oldest brother, Avraham, who all later died of their wounds.

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Neighbors, among them IDF soldiers, heard the gunshots and came running. The terrorist hid in a closet while they rescued the remaining family members, including Avigdor, who was a 19-year-old draftee at the time, by propping a ladder up to a second floor porch, according to a soldier, one of the rescuers who held the terrorist at bay on the first floor, wounding him.

That attack occurred one day after the infamous Hamas massacre at Netanya’s Park Hotel which killed 30 and wounded 140.

Ayelet and Avigdor met many times over the years at events for orphans of terror attacks sponsored by the OneFamily Fund, a non-profit group that helps rebuild the lives of Israeli victims of terror. They started dating two years ago.

Before telling their families the happy news, the couple went to the cemeteries where their loved ones were buried in a bittersweet gesture of filial love and respect, Ynet reports.