President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday visited the homes of the families of two Israelis killed in a terrorist shooting attack in the West Bank on Sunday, as they mourned their losses in the customary seven-day shiva period.
Rivlin first paid a condolence call to the family of Staff Sgt. Gal Keidan of the southern city of Beersheba, who was murdered in the attack at the Ariel junction. Keidan was laid to rest Monday.
“Gal was an artist with incredible talent, and he gave the state everything with infinite dedication, and we must make sure that we are worthy of his dedication,” the president said of Keidan, who was one of only a handful of mandocello players in the country.
The president then traveled to the West Bank settlement of Eli to visit the family of Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, a father of 12 who was gunned down in his car.
The loss of First Sergeant Gal Keidan ז"ל is heartbreaking. Gal was an incredibly talented artist. He gave his all to the country with boundless dedication. We must ensure that we are worthy of his dedication. I hugged the Keidan family today and pray we meet on happier occasions
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) March 20, 2019
Rivlen said Ettinger “was an inspiration and example to us all.”
“I told his widow Tamar that her cries of grief echo from one end of the country to the other. Our faith must be strong, we must be confident in our righteousness and we must carry on the work that he left behind,” Rivlin said.
A third victim of the attack, IDF soldier Alexander Dvorsky, remains hospitalized in serious but stable condition.
The Palestinian suspected of carrying out the attack was shot dead in a firefight Tuesday night with Israeli forces near Ramallah following a two-day manhunt.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who paid his respects to the Ettinger family Tuesday, said he would seek to legislate a death penalty punishment for terrorists.
Netanyahu praised the forces who carried out the manhunt.
“Israel’s long arm will reach all those who hurt our citizens and soldiers,” he said, according to his office.