Optimistic search continues for Israeli woman missing in Berlin attack
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Optimistic search continues for Israeli woman missing in Berlin attack

Hunt goes on for Dalia Elyakim, 60, from Herzliya; husband Rami seriously hurt in truck-ramming but stable; children arrive in Berlin to assist efforts to locate mother

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israelis Dalia and Rami Elyakim, who were caught up in the attack at a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, 2016. Rami was wounded and Dalia was killed in the attack (Image from Facebook)
Israelis Dalia and Rami Elyakim, who were caught up in the attack at a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, 2016. Rami was wounded and Dalia was killed in the attack (Image from Facebook)

The son and daughter of an Israeli woman missing since the Berlin truck-ramming at a Christmas market Monday night arrived in the city overnight Tuesday to help with the search for their mother and to visit their father, who was seriously injured in the terror attack.

Twelve people were killed and almost 50 wounded when a truck tore through the crowd on the day before, smashing wooden stalls and crushing victims in scenes reminiscent of July’s deadly attack in the French Riviera city of Nice.

The woman was named as Dalia Elyakim, 60. Her husband, who was seriously injured in the attack was anmed as Rami Elyakim, also 60. The two were visiting Berlin from Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.

The children of the couple visited their father Rami in the hospital where he remains in serious but stable condition, the Hebrew-language Walla website reported Wednesday. They also gave DNA samples to assist in identifying their mother.

Ambassador to Germany Yakov Hadas-Handelsman said, “We are making great efforts to find the woman.”

“Most of those injured in the attack have still not been identified and that gives us hope,” he said in the Walla report. “We are checking every possibility in the hope of ruling out also the worst possible outcome.”

The day after a terrorist attack in which a speeding truck killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a press conference in Berlin, on December 20, 2016. (AFP/John MACDOUGALL)
The day after a terrorist attack in which a speeding truck killed 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a press conference in Berlin, on December 20, 2016. (AFP/John MACDOUGALL)

Liora Givon, an Israeli diplomat in Berlin, said local police have not yet identified all of the injured people, 24 of whom are still in the hospital, with 18 of those in serious condition.

Sources in the German Embassy told Walla on Tuesday they were remaining optimistic that the Elyakim will be found alive, but that they have also been to local morgues to try and rule out that she is among the dead.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that authorities believe the deadly rampage was a terrorist attack.

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.

Police on Tuesday released an asylum-seeker from Pakistan arrested over the attack, saying there was not enough evidence he was in fact the driver of the truck. They warned that the wanted man could still be at large, armed, and dangerous.

The Islamic State group, which claimed the attack, and al-Qaeda have both called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack crowds.

On July 14, a truck plowed into Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 86 people. Islamic State also claimed responsibility for that attack, which was carried out by a Tunisian living in France.

Cars, trucks and tractors have been used in a number of terror attacks in Israel over the years.

Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.

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