Hundreds of family and friends turned out Friday as the sole Israeli victim of Monday’s terror attack in Berlin was laid to rest in Herzliya.
While Dalia Elyakim’s daughter Chen returned from Berlin to attend the funeral, other family members remained in Germany beside the hospital bed of her husband, Rami, who was badly wounded when suspected attacker Anis Amri plowed a truck into the crowd at a Christmas market in the German capital. Amri was killed Friday morning in a shootout with police in Milan, Italy.
Herzliya Mayor Moshe Fadlon paid tribute to 60-year-old Dalia as a “smiling, happy” woman who loved to travel, the Ynet website reported.
“Dear family members, we accompany you as we lay to rest Dalia Elyakim, a resident of Herzliya. Dalia was murdered on German soil by a heinous and vile terrorist, heartless and without a conscience. The terrorist chose to attack a place where locals and tourists walked through a market, happy at the approach of the new year, and instantly destroyed the world of dozens of families,” Fadlon said.
“Dalia was a family woman, modest, sociable, smiling and happy,” Fadlon said. “She loved to travel both around Israel and abroad. She always had a smile, was optimistic and kindly and helped neighbors in distress. I want to send my prayers for the recovery of her husband, Rami; God willing his condition will stabilize and he will soon return to Israel. We as a local authority embrace the family and will help in their hour of need. May her memory be a blessing.”
Elyakim was identified overnight Wednesday-Thursday as the sole Israeli fatality in Monday’s attack on Monday, in which 11 other people were killed. The identification put an end to a four-day effort by authorities, crushing slim hopes that Elyakim was among several people injured in the attack who had yet to be identified.
Rami Elyakim, also 60, remains in a medically induced coma in Berlin. The two were visiting the German capital from their hometown of Herzliya.
Moshe Egoz, a friend of the Elyakims, described the pair as a “dream couple that loved life and loved to have fun and travel.”
Egoz said Rami was a childhood friend. He noted that he had introduced him to Dalia, adding that he had seen the pair three weeks ago when Rami confided suspicions his wife was planning a surprise.
“It was the trip to Berlin. They posted wonderful photos and we just can’t understand where this [tragedy] came from,” said Egoz.
Elyakim’s son and daughter had arrived in Berlin on Tuesday to help with the search for their mother and to visit their father.
The children were “very saddened by the news as they had hoped she was still among the unidentified injured,” an Israeli diplomat in Berlin, Leora Givon, told Channel 2.
The attack, Germany’s deadliest in recent years, was claimed by the Islamic State group.
The truck struck the popular market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church late Monday, as tourists and locals were enjoying a traditional pre-Christmas evening out near the Berlin Zoo station.