Family, fellow police mourn ‘hero’ cop killed while taking out Bnei Brak terrorist

Sobbing father, fiancée recall how Amir Khoury never shied from danger, wanted to protect people, as they mourn officer who raced to neutralize gunman and paid with his life

Amir Khoury, 32, from Nof Hagalil, a police officer who was killed in a firefight with a terrorist in Bnei Brak on March 29, 2022 (Courtesy of the family)
Amir Khoury, 32, from Nof Hagalil, a police officer who was killed in a firefight with a terrorist in Bnei Brak on March 29, 2022 (Courtesy of the family)

On Sunday, Amir Khoury sat at home with his fiancée Shani Yashar as news of a terror attack in Hadera, in which two police officers were killed, began to filter in. Khoury, a cop himself, turned to Shani and assured her that he would not be victim to the same fate.

“If I see a terrorist in front of my eyes, I’m going to crush him. I’m not going to let anyone get hurt, that’s why I’m a cop,” she recalled him telling her, as she pleaded with him to “not be a hero.”

Three days later, Yashar climbed the stairs to the home of her beloved’s parents, sobbing along with them as they tried to grasp the enormity of Khoury’s death.

In the end, he had been a hero, and paid with his life.

Khoury was shot and killed Tuesday night as he arrived on the scene of a terror attack in Bnei Brak, helping take out terrorist Diaa Hamarsheh, 27, and prevent him from continuing his rampage of death and destruction through the Tel Aviv suburb.

“He was like that, always the first when something goes down,” his father Jeries Khoury, a former police officer, said Wednesday. “He had no fear.”

Khoury, 32, was stationed in Bnei Brak as a motorcycle cop. He and a partner were the first to reach Hamarsheh during the attack, who had already killed four people at two different locations.

“He was a hero, the way he and the other officer acted saved lives,” Tel Aviv police commander Amihai Eshed told the crying family as a camera from Channel 12 news filmed.

Bodycam footage published Wednesday showed  Khoury and his partner, whose name has not been cleared for publication, racing toward the scene. As they reach Herzl street, Khoury, who was driving the motorcycle, appears to be shot, after which the terrorist is shot to death.

Khoury was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead. Police announced Wednesday that Amir and the cop who was with him will be cited for their heroic actions.

His father Jeries recalled unsuccessfully trying to get in touch with his son after hearing about the attack, which occurred just before 8 p.m.

“I sent him a message and he didn’t answer,” he said tearfully. “After about an hour and half police showed up. When I saw them at the gate, I knew this was it.”

Police officers pay a condolence call March 30, 2022, on the family of Amir Khoury, a police officer who was killed in a firefight with a terrorist in Bnei Brak on March 29, 2022. Khoury’s father Jereis is at center and his fiancée Shani is at right. (Channel 12 screenshot)

Khoury, a Christian Arab, is survived by his parents and two sisters. His funeral is set to take place on Thursday in his hometown of Nof Hagalil, formerly known as Upper Nazareth.

Jeries said that Amir had planned to visit the families of the two Border Police officers who were killed in the terror attack in Hadera on Sunday.

Instead, it was other police visiting the Khoury home in Nof Hagalil, along with Yashar, who met Khoury six years ago through the police. The two had planned to marry in the coming months.

“I’m not supposed to come here alone! He was the love of my life,” she cried out as she entered the home.

Mourners at the funeral of Ya’akov Shalom who was killed in a terror attack in Bnei Brak, March 30, 2022 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The other victims include Bnei Brak residents Avishai Yehezkel, 29, who was protecting his baby from gunfire, Ya’akov Shalom, 36, and Ukrainian nationals Victor Sorokopot, 38, and Dimitri Mitrik, 23.

Shalom and Yehezkel were laid to rest in Bnei Brak earlier Wednesday.

According to Channel 12 news, a Haredi delegation from Bnei Brak is expected to attend Khoury’s funeral to express gratitude for his actions, and a resident of the West Bank settlement of Alon has offered to fund buses to bring people from Jerusalem to the funeral.

“More than 300 people already called me,” he told Channel 12. “The man gave his life there to protect ultra-Orthodox Jews and I think he should be thanked for that.”

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