‘Lively spirit’: Hundreds attend funeral of Israeli teen killed in West Bank attack

Murderer of Benjamin Achimeir still at large, as slaying of Jerusalemite near illegal outpost sparks violent clashes between extremist settlers and Palestinians

14-year-old Benjamin Achimeir, who went missing in the West Bank on April 12, 2024 and was found murdered a day later. (Courtesy)
14-year-old Benjamin Achimeir, who went missing in the West Bank on April 12, 2024 and was found murdered a day later. (Courtesy)

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of slain Israeli teenager Benjamin Achimeir on Sunday in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem, a day after his body was discovered in the West Bank.

The 14-year-old from Jerusalem was killed on Friday, in what the IDF and Shin Bet security agency designated as a terror attack, which resulted in violent clashes between extremist Israeli settlers and Palestinians.

Among those in attendance at the funeral were Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef and Religious Zionism MK Zvi Sukkot.

Speaking during the funeral service, Achimeir’s mother, Miriam, said tearfully that her son was simple-hearted and sacrificed his life for his beliefs: “You were so kind, you always thought of others and took everyone into account. You made sure not to hurt anyone, not even joking at others’ expense,” she said.

Benjamin’s brother Avinoam eulogized him as well, saying: “Bini, my beloved and sweet brother. You were always the lively spirit in the house, the one who helped everyone and brought us together. You always wanted us to travel with you, and I, like a fool, didn’t have time for that, I’m sorry Bini. You always helped me.”

Achimeir went missing after setting out in the early morning hours of Friday from a farm near the unauthorized West Bank outpost of Malachei Shalom to go shepherding, according to the IDF. Hours later, the sheep returned to “Gal Farm” without him.

Achimeir’s body was spotted on Saturday morning by a drone operated by the Border Defense Corps’ 636th Combat Intelligence Collection unit, close to the farm where he initially went missing.

The murder was believed to have been carried out by Palestinian terrorists, and to have occurred in the late morning hours or early afternoon of Friday, according to an initial investigation.

As of Sunday evening, the suspect or suspects responsible for Achimeir’s murder had yet to be identified or apprehended.

Malachei Shalom is located near the West Bank town of al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah.

During the searches on Friday, Israeli settlers rampaged in the West Bank town of al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah, which is near the Malachei Shalom outpost. The settlers set fire to houses and cars, and sparked clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers, in which a Palestinian man was killed and dozens of others injured.

The violent clashes between settler extremists and Palestinians continued on Saturday afternoon, following the discovery of Achimeir’s body. Reports indicated that the clashes took place in the Palestinian towns of Beitin and Duma, close to Ramallah, with some describing the violence as settler revenge attacks.

Six Palestinians were injured, one of them critically, after being shot in the head, as settlers rampaged through al-Mughayyir, the official Palestinian Authority news outlet Wafa claimed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the public not to hinder the work of the security forces in apprehending the murderers and maintaining security.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a similar plea, but also specifically warned the public: “Revenge attacks will make it harder for our forces in their mission. Do not take the law into your own hands.”

“Security forces are continuing the pursuit of those suspected of carrying out the attack,” the IDF and Shin Bet said, adding that they “send their heartfelt condolences to the family.”

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