Jerusalem – Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, who were shot to death by Palestinian terrorists outside Otniel south of Hebron on Friday afternoon, were laid to rest in Jerusalem on Saturday night.
Five other family members – Litman’s wife, three daughters aged 5, 9, and 11, and a 16-year-old son – suffered minor wounds. The family was driving to a Shabbat pre-celebration of a fourth daughter’s wedding when the gunmen opened fire on their vehicle. All five were lightly wounded by shrapnel and the resulting crash, but were not shot.
Ya’akov was struck first and Netanel was shot while calling for help, according to the IDF Spokesman. The 16-yearold son was able to reach Magen David Adom.
ISRAELNATIONALNEWS.com (http://bit.ly/1lp3jQv) reports that family members had to physically support Rabbi Litman’s daughter during the emotional ceremony at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery that drew prominent rabbinic and political figures, among them President Reuven Rivlin.
In addressing the mourners, President Rivlin said, “We stand here and it is difficult to contain… and difficult to accept how in one moment a family celebration can turn into such a great tragedy.”
Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau said, “A wedding has turned to grief and sorrow. How painful… in place of a wedding there is a funeral of a father and son! Where is the mercy on the bride?”
Following the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to hunt down the killers and bring them to justice.
“We will find these lowlife murderers and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, just as we have done in the past,” Netanyahu said, adding that Israel will continue to fight terrorism “wherever it strikes.”
Speaking at the funeral, President Reuven Rivlin said even in the face of terror “we are not afraid, we do not surrender and we do not back down. Our history is intertwined with this land.”
He continued, “The events that target us remind us every day that our presence here is not obvious.”
The president praised Rabbi Yaakov Litman for his work as a teacher, and Netanel’s work as MDA volunteer. He also drew comparisons to the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris on Friday.
“In Paris, Hebron, Jerusalem and New York, we must fight a bitter and persistent war against those who murder innocent people in cold blood.”
Hamas praised the killers as “heroic,” although did not claim responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources in Gaza said passersby handed out candy in the streets to celebrate the murders.