Turkish and American officials identified the Israelis killed in the Istanbul terror attack Saturday.
They were Yonathan Suher, 40, Simha Dimri, 60, and Avraham Goldman, 69, according to Israeli, American and Turkish officials.
Suher and Goldman were named as US citizens by the State Department.
Eleven Israelis were hurt in the bombing, which took place at 11 a.m. Saturday and targeted Istiklal Caddesi, a bustling two-kilometer-long pedestrian street usually thronged with shoppers, tourists and buskers but which was still relatively quiet when the bomber struck.
Turkey is on a knife-edge after the sixth major bombing since July. Over 200 people have been killed in the terror wave. Four of the attacks, including Saturday’s, have been blamed on Islamic State while Kurdish groups have been accused of carrying out the others.
Five of the 11 Israelis who were wounded in the attack returned to Israel in two overnight flights. A Sunday afternoon flight was expected to bring home another two who were seriously wounded.
Turkish medical officials said that among the Israeli wounded, two were in critical condition, two in moderate condition and six were lightly injured.
The families of Dimri, Suher and Goldman were reportedly flown to Istanbul late Saturday, where officials took them to identify the bodies of their family members.
Dimri, a retired kindergarten teacher and grandmother from the southern city of Dimona, leaves behind her husband Avi, who was moderately wounded in the attack, as well as three sons, a daughter and several grandchildren.
Dimri’s sons Nadav and Ben also flew to Istanbul late Saturday, joining a Magen David Adom delegation so they could be at their father’s side as he recuperates in an Istanbul hospital.
Dimona Mayor Benny Biton said Saturday the Dimris are a well-known family with a long history in the city.
“The city feels the pain and shares the grief of the Dimri family,” Biton said in a statement, saying the Dimris were “well-known as contributors to the needy and to city institutions, including anonymously.”
Yonathan Suher, another Israeli man killed in the attack, was celebrating his 40th birthday in Istanbul with his wife, Inbal Marom-Suher, his family said in a statement. Suher, who lived in Tel Aviv, was survived by two children. His wife was wounded in the attack.
In all, at least four were killed and 36 injured in the attack. A fourth victim killed in the attack was identified by Turkish officials as Iranian national Ali Reza Razmhah.
Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 12 of the injured were foreigners. Six were Israelis, two were Irish and the four others hailed from Germany, Iceland, Iran and Dubai, his office said.
In televised comments after an emergency meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said officials were investigating if Israelis had been specifically targeted in the bombing, and said intelligence pointed to it being an Islamic State attack.
The Israeli victims were part of a 14-member group on a culinary tour of Turkey.
On Saturday evening, the Israeli Foreign Ministry was attempting to get in touch with another six Israelis thought to have been at the site of the attack.
Three Israelis injured in the attack, Pnina and Ron Greenfield and Anat Kama, landed in Ben Gurion Airport early Sunday and were taken to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. Two more landed at Ben Gurion at approximately 5:30 a.m.
The Magen David Adom rescue service, which sent teams to Turkey to help coordinate the return of the wounded Israelis, said the return of the seriously wounded Israelis was delayed in order to enable them to recover enough to travel.
JTA and AFP contributed to this report.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.