At funeral of slain woman, sister urges hitchhikers not to stop
Knesset Speaker Edelstein calls for expansion of settlement where stabbing took place, regrets that the terrorist survived
Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.
Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday to pay their last respects to terror victim Dalia Lemkus as the 26-year-old was laid to rest in her hometown of Tekoa, a settlement in the West Bank.
Speaking at the funeral, Lemkus’s sister Michal urged Israelis to continue hitchhiking undeterred in defiance of terror.
“I want to scream at everyone, at my nation, and mostly at myself: Don’t stop hitchhiking. Don’t stop driving on the roads. Don’t give them the satisfaction, the satisfaction that they managed to stop and prevent us from living our lives.”
Dalia Lemkus, the daughter of immigrants from South Africa, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant Monday evening while hitchhiking from a bus stop outside the settlement of Alon Shvut, south of Jerusalem.
Two other people were injured in the attack, which came on the heels of the fatal stabbing of a soldier in Tel Aviv hours earlier.
Michal Lemkus recalled that after her sister was lightly injured in a stabbing in 2006, she asked Dalia how she could continue hitchhiking at the same spot without fear. Dalia had replied: “You think I’m going to let them beat me?” she said.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who also spoke at the funeral, said that “it was too bad the security guard of Alon Shvut missed by a few centimeters” in targeting the terrorist, who was injured by gunfire.
Edelstein, himself a resident of a nearby settlement, also called for the expansion of Alon Shvut.
“If the hitchhiking post [where the attack took place] is moved, it will only be because Alon Shvut expanded more. This will be our answer to all those murderers and assassins and those that send them.”
The victim’s father vowed that the murder “will not break our stand, and our commitment to our country.”
“He murdered you because you were a Jew living in Israel,” Nachum Lemkus said.
Moshe Saville, a local politician, described Lemkus on Facebook as “a woman of charity, welcoming, and extraordinarily giving, both in her profession as an occupational therapist and in her volunteer efforts.”
Earlier Monday, IDF soldier Almog Shiloni, 20, was stabbed multiple times at a Tel Aviv train stop. He succumbed to his wounds on Monday night, and was set to be buried at Mount Herzl military cemetery at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
Lazar Berman contributed to this report.