Mother who lost infant in attack: The blood of Israel pulses through my veins
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Mother who lost infant in attack: The blood of Israel pulses through my veins

Speaking from hospital wheelchairs in first press conference since Ofra Junction shooting, Shira and Amichai Ish-Ran say their baby managed to unite all of Israel

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Shira (left) and Amichai Ish-Ran, both injured on December 9, 2018 when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on Israelis near the settlement of Ofra, hold a press conference at the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on December 16, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)
Shira (left) and Amichai Ish-Ran, both injured on December 9, 2018 when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on Israelis near the settlement of Ofra, hold a press conference at the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on December 16, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

The young couple who were injured and lost their baby in a terror attack last week outside the Ofra settlement spoke publicly on Sunday for the first time since the shooting, having been wheeled in by their parents at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where they are still hospitalized.

“I feel like the Israeli people are strengthening me,” said Shira Ish-Ran, who was 30 weeks pregnant when a Palestinian gunman shot and seriously wounded her, Amichai and six others on December 9. The baby was delivered by doctors in an emergency C-section but died four days later; the parents’ condition has steadily improved.

“I lost a lot of blood and I needed to receive a lot of blood. I feel that the people of Israel support me emotionally and strengthen me physically. Most of my blood is now not even mine at all,” said the 21-year-old, thanking those who donated blood on her behalf.

“Our baby managed, in the three short days he lived, to do more than others could in an entire lifetime; it simply united us,” said Amichai, who was sitting next to her.

“We wanted to say thank you to God who blessed us with miracles. I took three bullets to the leg, but with God’s help I will be able to walk,” he said.

“Our enemies can shoot us, stab us, run us over… They can kill us, kill our children, but they cannot break us,” Amichai concluded.

Shortly before the baby’s burial on Wednesday, he underwent a symbolic circumcision and was named Amiad Yisrael.

Shira (left) and Amichai Ish-Ran, both injured last week when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on Israelis near the settlement of Ofra, hold a press conference at the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on December 16, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

The couple thanked God, their families, the hospital staff, the paramedics who saved Shira’s life and the whole nation.

Shira vowed on Thursday to have “many more babies” in response to the terror attack.

On Thursday, after her condition improved and a day after her four-day-old son was laid to rest, Ish-Ran was quoted by Hebrew-language media as saying, in her first remarks since the attack: “I will prove to them, I will show them. I will bring many more babies into this world. Am Yisrael chai.”

Alon Schwartz, the doctor who operated on Shira, told reporters Sunday that while the young woman faces a long recovery, he believed that her injuries would not prevent her from having children in the future.

“Her condition has stabilized. She will require further surgeries and a long rehabilitation. But I want to emphasize — the saving of her life is thanks solely to the action of the paramedics. Without their quick response and pressure applied to the bleeding area, she would not have survived,” said Schwartz.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives cemetery Wednesday night for the funeral of the newborn, who was pronounced dead by doctors at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem after three days in intensive care.

Relatives of Amichai and Shira Ish-Ran attend the funeral of their baby, who was born prematurely after his mother was wounded in a terror attack outside the West Bank settlement of Ofra, at Mount of Olives ceremony in Jerusalem on December 12, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel, Flash90)

Shira and her husband Amichai were recovering from gunshot wounds at the hospital and were unable to attend the funeral.

The funeral took place as Israeli forces raided a Palestinian village and killed one of the suspected perpetrators, Salih Barghouti, and arrested four other suspects in the terror attack, which left seven people injured.

Barely able to speak between sobs, grandfather Refael Ish-Ran said despite the baby boy’s short life, few people had “managed to unite the nation of Israel” like he had.

“You brought so much light. And with all the light that you brought, we will extinguish their darkness,” he said in his eulogy, adding that the name Amiad — which includes in it the Hebrew word for “eternal” — was chosen to signify that despite the baby’s death, “The nation of Israel will last forever.”

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