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Thousands attend funeral of 3 drowned brothers

Atef, Suliman and Nahed Sariye buried after Nahed’s body identified; ‘those who die at sea die as martyrs,’ says bereaved father

ZAKA personnel search for the body of 26-year-old Nahed Sariye in Ashkelon, Sunday. (photo credit: Boaz Ben-Ari/ZAKA)
ZAKA personnel search for the body of 26-year-old Nahed Sariye in Ashkelon, Sunday. (photo credit: Boaz Ben-Ari/ZAKA)

Thousands attended the Sunday funeral of the three Bedouin brothers who drowned at an Ashkelon beach Thursday.

The three, 16-year-old Atef Sariye, 19-year-old Suliman Sariye and 26-year-old Nahed Sariye, were buried side by side.

“In Islam, we believe that those who drown at sea die a martyr’s death. I believe my sons died that way,” Ynet quoted the brothers’ father, Hassan, as saying on Sunday evening.

“I had hoped to find my sons healthy and that they would return to the family. Unfortunately, the result was a difficult calamity that has befallen us and that we don’t know how to cope with. I had wonderful sons,” Hassan said.

The three were buried after Nahed’s body was found on the Ashkelon beach Sunday. The discovery was made just hours after experts at Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital confirmed that a body found earlier in the day in the area was that of Sariye’s brother Atef.

On Friday, the search uncovered the body of Suliman, who went missing at the same time as his brothers. All three, from the Bedouin town of Kuseife, were swept out to sea on Thursday evening after swimming at a beach that had no lifeguard without knowing how to swim.

The search for the youths went on for three days, with a helicopter, divers, Israeli Navy and police ships and jet skis searching the water, while land crews patrolled the coastline.

Ashkelon police chief Haim Bublil alerted the public Sunday that there were currently still no lifeguards on duty and urged people to avoid entering the water.

“The weather is expected to be good this weekend, but we recommend that people refrain from entering the sea. It may appear inviting and calm, but there are whirlpools and other dangers, and there are no rescue services,” Bublil told Ynet News.

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