KOCHAV HASHAHAR, West Bank — Hundreds of people gathered Monday in the central West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashahar for the funeral of Adiel Kolman, who was killed in a stabbing terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City a day earlier.
In addition to eulogies from family members, the 32-year-old father of four was memorialized by Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who highlighted Kolman’s work at the City of David archaeological site in East Jerusalem.
“Our revenge is settlement and holding tight to the land,” said Ariel. “I hope we’ll continue to advance construction in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and make a clear decision that between the Jordan [River] and [Mediterannean] Sea there will only be one sovereign state — the State of Israel.”
“This land is ours. We received it from God, blessed is he,” added the Jewish Home party minister.
The Jerusalem mayor similarly pledged continued construction in response to the deadly terror attack.
“Yesterday they succeeded in harming Adiel. The sorrow is deep and difficult but they’ll never succeed in removing us from our path,” said Barkat. “We in Jerusalem are determined not to change our daily routines and to continue to build in Jerusalem and in the Land of Israel.”
For their part, Kolman’s family members highlighted his personal traits, telling stories of how he always was looking to help others.
“We would like more. Everything good we want more. To enjoy your pleasantness — more. But no. God gives and God takes away. This was your time,” said Kolman’s mother Yael.
“But the children will miss you,” she said.
“The children!” his bereaved mother screamed a second time, breaking down into tears along with many in the crowd.
Standing next to one of her daughters, Kolman’s mother said that her wedding was to take place in a month. “They will not beat us. Last night we decided that we would continue,” she said.
Ephraim Cohen remembered his son-in-law as a “mensch” and compared him to a sacrificial “burnt offering” brought for the Passover holiday, which will be celebrated later this month.
“You were ascending from the City of David (when you were killed) and now too, you ascend there as a burnt offering,” he said.
Kolman’s sister Yoshivya recalled dancing with her brother at his wedding, speaking of his infectious smile and laugh.
“Tell God, ‘enough,'” she said addressing her late brother. “It does not suit the Kolman family to be a bereaved family… Let us all demand redemption.”
The Kochav Hashahar resident was critically injured in the Sunday afternoon terror attack; eyewitnesses said that he had struggled with the attacker until police arrived.
The assailant was identified as 28-year-old Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel, a father of two from the village of Aqraba, near the West Bank city of Nablus, the Shin Bet security service said. He was shot dead by police at the scene on Hagai Street in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
Kolman was rushed to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, but succumbed to his wounds several hours later.
Innitial reports identified Kolman as a security guard in the Old City. However, friends later said he had worked in the archaeological digs at the City of David for the last five years.
Later Sunday night, the Shin Bet security service revealed that Fadel had entered Israel with a five-day permit that allowed him into the city to look for work.
The Palestinian father of two did not have known ties to any Palestinian terrorist organization — if he had, he would not have received the work permit — but, in light of the attack, the Shin Bet said it was re-investigating the issue.
Once common in the Old City, stabbing attacks have waned in recent months. However, tensions have been on the rise around Jerusalem since US President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital in December. This month, he also announced that the US Embassy would be moving from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14.
On Friday, two Israeli soldiers — Ziv Daos, 21, and Netanel Kahalani, 20 — were killed and two others were injured when a Palestinian man rammed his car into them as they were standing outside a military observation post along a highway near the Mevo Dotan settlement in the northern West Bank.
Alexander Fulbright contributed to this report.