‘In life and death they didn’t part’: Father, son slain in terror attack laid to rest

Shay Silas Nigreker, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, buried side by side in Ashdod a day after they were shot dead at a carwash in the Palestinian town of Huwara

The graves of Shay Silas Nigreker and his son Aviad Nir, following their funeral in Ashdod on August 20, 2023. (Flash90)
The graves of Shay Silas Nigreker and his son Aviad Nir, following their funeral in Ashdod on August 20, 2023. (Flash90)

A father and son who were killed in a terror attack in the Palestinian town of Huwara in the West Bank on Saturday were laid to rest side by side in Ashdod on Sunday evening.

Shay Silas Nigreker, 60, a native of India, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, were shot dead at a carwash inside the Palestinian town on Saturday, with a terrorist approaching on foot and opening fire at the two Israelis from close range with a handgun.

“He would go to Huwara all the time. He was not afraid, and he would say, ‘Those are my friends there,'” recounted Shay’s wife, Rina, at the funeral on Sunday, according to Army Radio. “I still can’t believe it. Next week was supposed to be our 20th anniversary. He loved to help people.”

Aviad’s aunt, Dorit Yifrah, said that “we still can’t believe you are not with us,” according to the local Ashdodnet news site. “You were murdered by animals, a killer who attacked you from behind… Aviad, you were a wonderful father and a loving husband.”

Interior Minister Moshe Arbel and Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasry were among the hundreds of mourners who turned out to pay their final respects to the victims.

“The entire city is in mourning, together with the nation of Israel we are shocked and in pain,” said Lasry at the funeral, according to Ynet. “In life and death they did not part… Shay Silas was warm-hearted, happy, with a sense of humor and a huge heart, and his son Aviad inherited his personality traits and his values and was a good person who was always ready to help.”

An undated photo shows Shay Silas Nigreker, 60 (right) and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, who were killed in a terror attack in the West Bank town of Huwara, August 19, 2023. (Courtesy)

The manhunt for the terrorist was still ongoing as of Sunday evening.

The two men, who were not residents of the area, were in Huwara for a number of hours on Saturday before the attack, according to their family members, carrying out various personal errands, including a haircut, fixing the air conditioning in their vehicle, and washing it at the carwash. Some goods and services are cheaper in the West Bank than in Israel, drawing some customers across the border. The attack occurred as the pair were standing by their car while it was being washed.

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the family of the victims “whose lives were cut short in such a cruel and criminal way over Shabbat.”

“Security forces are working diligently in order to find the murderer and bring him to account,” he said in a statement.

President Isaac Herzog lamented “a sad Saturday that ended with great pain,” while adding that “we must not allow terror to win.”

Huwara has long been a flashpoint in the West Bank, thanks to a main thoroughfare running through the town which is regularly used by Israelis to travel to and from settlements.

IDF troops at the scene of a deadly terrorist shooting attack at a carwash in the West Bank town of Huwara, August 19, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF generally does not maintain as significant of a presence in Huwara on Saturdays, as the vast majority of settlers in the area are observant Jews and do not drive on Shabbat. Troops are usually bolstered on Saturday night when Israelis travel to and from the settlements in the area.

There have been several shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the town in recent months, including the killing of two brothers in February.

There have also been a handful of instances of settler violence targeting the Palestinian residents of Huwara, including a deadly rampage that unfolded hours after the February attack in which the two Israeli brothers were shot dead.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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