Meir Tamari, who was shot dead in a West Bank terror attack, was laid to rest on Wednesday with hundreds in attendance to eulogize the father of two on what would have been his 32nd birthday.
The funeral took place at the cemetery in the northern West Bank settlement of Shaked near his hometown settlement of Hermesh where Tamari was heading on Tuesday when terrorists from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades opened fire on his vehicle from their SUV before fleeing. Tamari managed to continue driving to the Hermesh entrance where security guards alerted medics who rushed him to the hospital. He succumbed to his wounds shortly afterward. The suspects remain at large.
It was the latest in a string of Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank that have killed 20 people since the start of this year and left several more seriously hurt. At least 112 West Bank Palestinians have also been killed since the beginning of the year — most of them during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians or were killed under more questionable circumstances.
Speakers at Tamari’s funeral included his wife Tal, Settlements Minister Orit Strock, settler mayor Yossi Dagan and the Chief Rabbi of Safed Dov Lior.
“You were supposed to be 32-years-old today. Instead of wishing you a happy birthday, I am now alone with the children,” said Tal Tamari as she fought back tears. During her husband’s burial, she was photographed standing over the burial plot holding her three-year-old daughter as her one-year-old son was strapped to her back.
“It doesn’t make sense that our children won’t be able to see your light, experience you more, grow with you and learn from you your goodness, your honesty and your willingness to help others,” she eulogized. This is an unfathomable reality.”
“All that remains for me to do is to instill your values in our children, and I hope I will succeed… We are supposed to live in Israel safely and be able to return home to our families safely. Any other reality cannot be accepted,” she said in a message long voiced to Israeli politicians from settlers.
The latter have called for a tougher military response to Palestinian terror attacks, including re-establishing additional checkpoints for Palestinians throughout the West Bank as the settler population continues to expand.
Strock said the Palestinian attackers wanted to “extinguish not only your light but all the lights we have lit throughout Samaria (northern West Bank).”
She pointed to the latest government decision to allow the transfer of the illegal Homesh outpost onto state land in order for it to be legalized as evidence that Israel’s enemies were losing in their effort to boot them from the West Bank.
“In the coming days we will approve many more houses here in northern Samaria that will also add light against the darkness of terrorism,” Strock said, foreshadowing the government’s expected approval of thousands of additional settlement homes.
“When they hit us, we will multiply… and wherever they try to uproot us, there we will deepen our roots and build more houses,” the far-right minister added.
In his speech, Dagan called on the government to launch a major West Bank security operation to crack down on Palestinian terror. “We demand answers from you. Jewish blood cannot be spilled in vain — not in Samaria and not in Tel Aviv.”
The IDF was searching for the terrorists who carried out the attack in a number of Palestinian villages and towns in the area. Hermesh is located to the west of Jenin and north of Tulkarem, both considered by military officials to be hotbeds of terrorist activity.
Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report