Hundreds Attend Memorial Day Ceremony in Hebron

In past generations, our security was entrusted to foreigners. Today, the soldiers of the army of Israel protect us.

17.5.16, 19:52
Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) ceremonies were held in Hebron on May 10th and May 11th in the shadow of the terrible events that took place this year. The wave of terror that has swept the entire country has taken the lives a number of dear friends from the greater Hebron - Kiryat Arba region. These included Rabbi Ya'akov Litman, his son Netanel Litman, Genadi Kaufman, Avraham Asher Hasano, and Eliav Gelman. 
Victims of Terror
Rabbi Ya'akov Litman and his son were killed in a drive-by shooting attack south of Hebron. The family was on their way home from a pre-wedding celebration for daughter Sarah-Tehiya Litman. The wedding was rescheduled a week later after the funerals. In a moving tribute to her father and brother, the mourning daughter and her family invited "everybody" to their wedding celebration which was held in Jerusalem on November 26, 2015. Almost 10,000 packed the parking lot of the wedding hall in a show of support, many bringing wedding gifts for they couple they never met.
On October 20, 2015, Avraham Asher Hasano (alternatively spelled Hasno), a father of seven in his 50s from Kiryat Arba, was killed south of Hebron when his car was pelted with stones causing him to crash. After exiting his vehicle, he was then intentionally run over. His family fought to ensure his death was properly ruled a terrorist attack and not an auto accident as initially reported.
On December 7, 2015, Genadi Kaufman was stabbed at a bus stop near the Tomb of Machpela and succumbed to his wounds three weeks later. A local gardener, Genadi was responsible for landscaping and beautification of the Tomb of Machpela grounds. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu addressed his murder at his weekly cabinet meeting stating, "I say to all those who would uproot us from the Tomb of the Patriarchs - except for a few years in the previous century, we have been there for almost 4,000 years, and we will stay there forever. You cannot defeat us."
On February 24, 2016, Major (reserve) Eliav Gelman, was shot during an attempted stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion junction. THe 30-year-old Gelman grew up in Kiryat Arba and was an IDF paratrooper, veteran of Operation Protective Edge and a father of two.
Memorial Day at Historic Locations
In the evening, a memorial ceremony took place at the Tomb of Machpela with the IDF Hebron Brigade and representatives of the Nahal Battalion. Brigade Commander Colonel Yariv Ben-Ezra spoke at the assembly.
The next morning on Memorial Day, hundreds gathered in Hebron including local residents, students, family members and Israel Defense Force representatives. The ceremony was held in the ancient cemetery of Hebron, burial site of many famous rabbis and Jewish sages such as the Reisheet Hochma and the Sde Hemed. A military section to the cemetery has since been placed next to the plot for the martyrs of the 1929 massacre. 
Those buried in the cemetery include: 
21-year-old Staff Sergeant Elazar Lebovitch who was caught in a drive-by shooting in 2000. 
Eli HaZe'ev, of the "The Six" who were gunned down in front of the Beit Hadassah building in 1980. A building called Beit HaShisha was dedicated in their memory. 
Nahum Hoss and Yehuda Fartush were killed in a terrorist ambush on a bus in 1995. The Ministry of Construction and Housing built two houses in 1989 called Beit Nahum and Yehuda in their memory.
Other Hebron area terrorist victims buried at the ancient cemetery include Mordechai Lapid and his son Shalom who were killed in 1993, Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan who were killed in 2011, and Yossi Shok, killed in 2005.
A Word of Inspiration from the Jewish Community of Hebron
Those that thought terror would weaken the resolve of the people of Israel to remain in their ancestral homeland have been proven wrong. On the contrary, the people of Israel have united and strengthened. For the residents of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, terrorism is not new. The riots of 1929, in which 67 unarmed civilians were killed, still resonates. The pioneers that returned to the city and turned it into a vibrant community that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists have proven that in the end terrorism will not win and can in fact be defeated.
The presence of both a permanent community and a military presence ensure that Hebron will be more than just a museum and visitors can come year round. Hebron serves as a beacon for repatriation of Israel and a buffer for terrorist that attempts to infiltrate into the rest of the country. 
Of course, the test of terrorism today is different from that of previous generations. Back then, Hebron was ruled by foreigners, such as the British and before them, the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Before, it was their soldiers who were entrusted to guard the Jewish community. Today, by the grace of God, we live in an Israeli city secured by soldiers of the army of Israel. 
Therefore it is natural that on Memorial Day, both soldiers and civilians mourn together. Our bereaved families share the memory of their bravery and sacrifice, their brotherhood and unity met in the fire of battle and the struggle for the homeland.
To arrange your visit to Hebron, click here:
United States contact info:
1760 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230

In Israel contact the offices of the Jewish Community of Hebron at:

Yom Hazikaron - Memorial Day 2016 | 13 Images
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