Father of slain teen hopes his son died before seeing ‘face of evil’

Yoav Sorek tells reporters he is clinging to belief that 18-year-old Dvir did not suffer prolonged struggle with his killers

Yoav Sorek, father of Dvir Sorek who was murdered in a terror attack near the settlement of Migdal Oz late Wednesday, August 7, 2019, speaks with the media outside the family home in Ofra on August 9, 2019. (Flash90)
Yoav Sorek, father of Dvir Sorek who was murdered in a terror attack near the settlement of Migdal Oz late Wednesday, August 7, 2019, speaks with the media outside the family home in Ofra on August 9, 2019. (Flash90)

The father of Dvir Sorek, the yeshiva student found stabbed to death in a terror attack in the West Bank on Thursday, said he hopes that his son died quickly and without a prolonged struggle with his killers.

“I very much hope that it happened the way that I’m imagining it: That he was attacked from behind and wasn’t face to face with evil when he left this world,” Yoav Sorek told reporters outside his home on Friday.

“I [hope] he left the world purely,” he said. “I hope that he didn’t leave this world after an unsuccessful struggle with those that ambushed him.”

Yoav Sorek said the family was waiting to hear the conclusions of the initial investigation into his son’s killing.

“There’s nothing new about Jews being the targets of Arab terrorism,” said Sorek, who is the editor of the influential Tikvah Fund’s Shiloach Journal. “This is something that has accompanied us a long time.”

Dvir Sorek, 19, a yeshiva student and off-duty IDF soldier who was found stabbed to death outside a West Bank settlement on August 8, 2019 (Courtesy)

The body of Dvir Sorek was found early Thursday riddled with stab wounds outside the Migdal Oz settlement, where he studied at a seminary as part of a program combining religious study and military service.

On Wednesday night, Sorek’s family and people from the yeshiva told authorities that they lost contact with him after he traveled to Jerusalem, where he had purchased a number of books as end-of-term presents for his rabbis.

Investigators found that he returned to the area from Jerusalem shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday and began walking from his bus stop near the Efrat settlement toward the back entrance of Migdal Oz.

As he was walking along the path, an assailant got out of a car and attacked him. His body was found a short distance from the site of the stabbing, on the side of the road — and some 200 meters from his yeshiva — at approximately 3 a.m. on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by members of a terror group or by unaffiliated terrorists.

Israeli soldiers stand guard during a house-to-house search operation in the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem on August 8, 2019, following a fatal stabbing attack of Dvir Sorek, 19 (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Though only one person is believed to have carried out the stabbing, an as-yet unknown number of people were in the car and assisted in the attack.

Security forces launched a massive manhunt in the surrounding area morning and the military deployed additional troops throughout the West Bank.

The manhunt for the terrorists who killed Sorek entered its second day on Friday, with security forces expanding their search area to the southern West Bank. According to Palestinians media reports, Israeli security forces entered the Palestinian town of Halhul, north of Hebron early Friday morning.

Security forces are reportedly concerned the terror cell behind the deadly stabbing attack may have split up, making the search effort more difficult. The group is believed to be getting assistance in evading capture.

Sorek’s funeral was held in the Ofra settlement’s cemetery late Thursday night, drawing thousands of people, where he was eulogized by his father Yoav as “a gift that spread light and goodness both inside the family and outside it.”

“Evil lovers of death took your life, my Dvir, but they did not harm your innocence, light and love. You left us pure, and we will try to bring about light and goodness, to strengthen our family despite the pain and to choose life,” Yoav Sorek added.

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