Two young children who were murdered at the hands of their father this week were laid to rest Friday at a cemetery outside their hometown of Bat Hefer, near Netanya.
The children’s funeral was attended by hundreds of shaken family members and friends, as well as many of the town’s residents.
“My love for you is endless,” mourned Ronit Gur, the mother of 4-year-old Eden and 5-year-old Yahav. “I can only hope that you did not grasp what was happening during those horrible moments.”
On Wednesday, 52-year-old Eli Gur killed his two children by throwing them from the roof of an 11-floor building on Eliyahu Berlin street in north Tel Aviv, according to eyewitnesses. He then committed suicide by jumping off himself.
The family did not live in the building and their personal belongings were found on the roof, police said.
Eli Gur’s neighbors from Or Yehuda, where his parents resided until his mother died two months ago, were surprised to hear what had occurred.
“He was a quiet man who never caused any trouble. His family has lived here for many years. I’m shocked,” one neighbor told Ynet News. Another said Gur had been very badly shaken by his mother’s death.
“I know he took it very hard,” said the neighbor.
An initial police investigation revealed that Gur kidnapped the children from their mother earlier in the day. The parents had been undergoing divorce proceedings, and a restraining order was filed against Eli after Ronit alerted the authorities that he had threatened to “break her bones” and kill her. Prior to that, they had lived together for a year while receiving therapy separately in an attempt to reconcile their differences.
A charge sheet filed against Eli Gur in June accused him of threatening Ronit, puncturing her car tires, cutting up her credit card and shredding her checkbook.
He allegedly arrived at Ronit’s house in Bat Hefer Wednesday and took the kids by force. Ronit called the police, who began searching for the children.
She was taken in for questioning Wednesday, but returned Thursday to the now-empty home she had once shared with her two children.
Eli Gur was laid to rest Friday as well, only hours after the funeral of his children. His body was brought to a cemetery in the nearby town of Avihayil, after Ronit insisted that he not be buried in the same cemetery as Yahav and Eden.
Following his funeral, the children’s bereaved mother pointed an enraged finger at Israeli social services and blamed them for not taking sufficient action to ensure her kids’ safety.
“The authorities did not understand the severity of the situation,” Gur charged.”They might not understand that a father who leaves his family… empties their bank account, steals the family car, and abandons his children to live by the grace of others, is not a father devoted to his children,” she said
“During the past two years I have been fighting to give my children a normal life,” Gur continued. “My sheltering of them and wish to defend them was probably weakened because no one really believed me.”
In response to Ronit Gur’s accusations, the Emek Hefer Regional Council issued a statement regarding the murder of the children and said authorities in the district had done everything they could for the kids.
“The regional social services department acted cautiously and implemented all legal means and legal resources at its disposal to ensure the safety of the children and their mother,” the statement read. “But unfortunately, it was unable to prevent this terrible murder.”
The council added that social workers will accompany the mother in order to help her cope with her loss.