Israeli victim of Turkey terror attack to be buried in hometown
Large crowd expected in Tira for funeral of 19-year-old Lian Zaher Nasser, killed in Istanbul nightclub shooting
An Israeli teenager killed in the shooting attack at an Istanbul club during New Year festivities will be laid to rest at 11 a.m. Tuesday in her home town of Tira.
The cortege of 19-year-old Lian Zaher Nasser will depart from her home in the Arab city and proceed to the local cemetery.
A spokesperson for the Joint (Arab) List confirmed that faction leader MK Ayman Odeh will attend the funeral, and possibly other parliamentarians. The party called for as many people as possible to attend the funeral.
The town has also declared a day of mourning in solidarity with all the victims of terror.
Nasser was one of 39 people killed Sunday when a gunman went on a rampage at the exclusive Reina nightclub in Istanbul where she was celebrating the New Year along with three friends from Tira.
Her body arrived back in Israel on Monday. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Sunday that his ministry arranged Nasser’s return to Israel.
“Lian was killed in a serious terror attack and as a state we are obligated to help return her body to Israel,” Deri said.
Search-and-rescue organization ZAKA coordinated the repatriation at various levels, including finances, logistics, transportation and communication with the relevant authorities in Israel and in Turkey.
“ZAKA is an international humanitarian organization that honors the dead, regardless of religion, race or gender,” said ZAKA head Yehuda Meshi-Zahav.
The Islamic State (IS) terror group took responsibility for the attack, claiming that Christian revelers were targeted in response to Turkish military operations against IS in northern Syria. However the most of the dead were foreign tourists from Muslim countries.
Palestinian social media was filled with discussion about the terror attack, and while many comments were sympathetic, a large number were critical of Nasser and her friends for going against Muslim tradition by being in a nightclub and celebrating the secular New Year.
Tira resident Dr. Ala’a Abdulahi, who was also in the nightclub at the time of the shooting, hit back at the criticism on social media. She told Channel 10 television that “it is better to ignore such people. They are sick.”
Nur Samara, another resident of Tira, lodged a complaint with police over the social media attacks, calling them more painful than the nightclub shooting itself. “These were girls who just wanted to travel, to enjoy themselves, to eat and drink. That’s all,” he said.
The Joint (Arab) List also condemned the social media attacks, referring to them as “creeping IS-ism.” The party called on the public to dismiss such comments “which endanger the entire Arab community, its identity, its existence and its fundamental struggles.”
The claim came after a recent IS propaganda video urged attacks on Turkey, which is home to an air base used in the US-led effort against the group in Syria and Iraq.
The nightclub assailant, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian early Sunday outside the club before entering and firing at some of the estimated 600 people inside. The establishment is frequented by famous locals, including singers, actors and athletes.
Authorities obtained the fingerprints and a basic description of the gunman and are close to identifying him, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday after a weekly cabinet meeting. He confirmed that eight people have been detained in connection with the attack.
Associated Press contributed to this report.