Hundreds attend funeral for toddler hurt in 2013 attack
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Hundreds attend funeral for toddler hurt in 2013 attack

‘The bereavement is eating at me like a cancer,’ says father of Adele Bitton, 4, after daughter dies from illness stemming from rock-throwing incident

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Adva Bitton at the funeral of her 4-year-old daughter Adele on February 18, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Adva Bitton at the funeral of her 4-year-old daughter Adele on February 18, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hundreds of people on Wednesday attended the funeral of 4-year-old Adele Bitton, who was critically injured in a 2013 rock-throwing attack and died of complications of pneumonia on Tuesday.

The funeral took place in the West Bank settlement of Yakir, where the Bittons live, and near the site of the March 2013 attack that left Adele Bitton with severe brain damage.

“When you were a baby, you didn’t like to sleep,” her mother, Adva Bitton eulogized at the funeral. “‘No sleep, Ima [Mother],’ you would wake up at night and cry ‘Abba [Father], Ima, pacifier, bottle, no sleep.’ Now I understand that you had to get things done. You managed to get a lot done in this short life.”

Bitton referred to the stone-throwing attack as “the day your body was murdered by the evil people, but your soul continued to pulsate.”

“You didn’t give up, my warrior, the terrorists didn’t manage to take away your beauty, my beauty, my heart is breaking,” she said.

Adva Bitton was driving in the West Bank when her car was hit by rocks, causing her to veer out of her lane and into a truck. Adele Bitton suffered severe injuries, leaving her handicapped for the last two years.

Five suspects were arrested in connection with the attack.

On Tuesday, Adele died after being admitted to the hospital days earlier with a lung infection.

Rafi Bitton mourns at the funeral of his 4-year-old daughter Adele Bitton on February 18, 2015. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)
Rafi Bitton mourns at the funeral of his 4-year old-daughter Adele Bitton on February 18, 2015. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

The lung infection was related to a neurological condition developed as a result of the attack, hospital officials said, according to Army Radio.

Yesterday “I saw your suffering in your eyes, how much you are fighting for each and every breath,” and felt that something bad would happen, Adva Bitton said at the funeral.

“When they took you up to emergency care, I sat by myself and called out to God, unequivocally — either life of death. I don’t want you to suffer this way. I wanted only the best for you, you deserve the best. Then the creator of the world decided, and took you to him,” she said, according to Channel 2.

Raffi Bitton, Adele’s father, said at the funeral the pain was “intolerable” and “eating at me like a cancer.”

“I can deal with anything, just not with the abyss. I have no solution for the abyss. The sadness and suffering will consume me,” he said.

Adele Bitton (photo credit: Courtesy)
Adele Bitton (photo credit: Courtesy)

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also attended the funeral for the toddler.

“Precious, beloved Adele. During these difficult times of shock and sorrow, we try to see a bit of light,” Edelstein said at the funeral. “I have no words of comfort. You are leaving us too soon. So great a soul, in so small a body.”

During your short life, the Bittons gave us a lesson in love, Edelstein said.

“This lesson in unconditional love was cut short unexpectedly,” he said.

Adele Bitton and her mother Adva (photo credit: Youtube screenshot)
Adele Bitton and her mother Adva (photo credit: Youtube screenshot)

Jonathan Beck and Justin Jalil contributed to this report.

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