As Istanbul victims buried, injured spouses recall carnage
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'We won't succumb to hatred and revenge. We won't let this evil poison us'

As Istanbul victims buried, injured spouses recall carnage

Avraham Damri says his wife was afraid to travel to Turkey, but he reassured her; Avraham Goldman's widow says he was 'totally intact' after the blast, 'as if he wasn't hurt'

The funeral of Dimona resident Simha Damri on March 21, 2016. (FLASH90)
The funeral of Dimona resident Simha Damri on March 21, 2016. (FLASH90)

The three Israelis killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul Saturday were laid to rest on Monday afternoon in Israel, a day after their bodies were flown home.

Simha Damri, 59, Avraham Goldman, 70, and Yonatan Suher, 40, were killed when a suspected Islamic State suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near an Israeli tour group in central Istanbul. An Iranian was also killed in the attack, and 11 other Israelis were hurt. Israel was investigating whether the group was deliberately targeted.

Damri was buried in an afternoon ceremony in her hometown of Dimona with hundreds in attendance. Her husband, who was moderately injured in the blast on Saturday, was not permitted to leave the hospital to attend.

The retired kindergarten teacher was survived by her husband and four children.

Avraham Damri told reporters in the Soroka Medical Center that his wife had been concerned about the security risks in Turkey, but he reassured her they would be fine.

“We walked around the markets two days earlier, we talked and laughed. She was afraid before we left, but I told her ‘You see? There’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s all okay,'” he said.

The children (L and C) of 60-year-old Simcha Damri mourn during her funeral in the southern Israeli city of Dimona on March 21, 2016. (AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA
The children (L and C) of 60-year-old Simha Damri mourn during her funeral in the southern Israeli city of Dimona on March 21, 2016. (AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA)

The family was planning Damri’s 60th birthday party on April 8, he said, and their son was set to be married in July.

“She doesn’t know anything [about the party]. It’s absurd. She simply doesn’t know anything about it. A secret plan, a secret guest list,” he said, still referring to his wife in present tense. “Nadav is supposed to get married on July 21, she was over the moon that it was happening. Simply thrilled.”

Damri thanked the Jewish community in Turkey for their assistance and asked that they try to retrieve his late wife’s bag.

Simha Dimri, of Dimona, was killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul, March 19, 2016. (Facebook via JTA)
Simha Dimri, of Dimona, was killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul, March 19, 2016. (Facebook via JTA)

“I asked them before we got on the Hercules [plane] that they try to find Simha’s bag in the police station, and they didn’t find it. Her things are there, her passports, the necklace I bought her, and her rings,” he said. “She loved to travel with all of her things on her, she doesn’t trust the safes in the hotels.”

The funeral of Dimona resident Simha Damri on March 21, 2016. (FLASH90)
The funeral of Dimona resident Simha Damri on March 21, 2016. (FLASH90)

Meanwhile, dual US-Israeli citizen Goldman was buried in Holon, with his children remembering their father’s fearlessness and coexistence efforts.

“Ima [mother] wanted you to change your destination, but you said that there are also attacks in Tel Aviv and New York and you were never afraid,” Goldman’s daughter Sharon said, according to the Ynet news website. “I’m sorry you didn’t listen to this. My mind can’t believe it, and my heart is shattered to pieces. I believe that only your physical body has left the world and your pure soul is coming home.”

She said her parents had founded a textile factory, bringing in Arab Israeli and Palestinian workers “and everyone became like family.”

“You thought that this was the path to peace and coexistence, even in trying times,” she said. “We won’t succumb to hatred and revenge. We won’t let this evil poison us.”

A relative mourns over the grave of 60-year-old Simcha Damari during her funeral in the southern Israeli city of Dimona on March 21, 2016. Damari was one of three Israelis killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul on March 19.(AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA)
A relative mourns over the grave of 60-year-old Simcha Damari during her funeral in the southern Israeli city of Dimona on March 21, 2016. (AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA)

Goldman’s widow, Nitza, who was hurt in the attack, told Israeli reporters on Monday that she witnessed “everything.”

“I saw everything,” she said. When the bomb went off, she said, she looked around and saw her husband lying next to her.

“I saw my husband next to me, and he was totally intact. It was like he wasn’t injured, wasn’t harmed, he was entirely intact. I called out to him to get up, but he didn’t answer me,” she told Channel 2.

Nitza Goldman was released from the hospital to attend the funeral.

Suher’s funeral was scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. He is survived by his wife, Inbal, who was badly hurt in the bombing and two children.

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