Thousands of Israelis on Thursday evening attended the funeral for a yeshiva student killed in a West Bank terror attack, with mourners remembering him for his “light and love.”
The body of Dvir Sorek was found early Thursday with stab wounds outside the Migdal Oz settlement, where he studied at a seminary as part of a program combining religious study and military service. He was last seen Wednesday leaving Migdal Oz for Jerusalem to buy a book for a teacher.
“Dear precious, beloved Dvir, in a few days we were supposed to celebrate your 19th birthday,” Yoav Sorek, Dvir’s father, said at the funeral in the Ofra settlement. “I think of these 19 years and I can’t avoid smiling because your memory reminds me of a bright face, positive thought, innocence and love for humanity.
Yoav Sorek described his son as a “gift” that his family was privileged to enjoy for nearly 19 years and said his murder in no way tainted his “innocence.”
“A gift that spread light and goodness inside the family and outside of it. Without pretension and without cynicism. For this gift I have said and I will say again: God giveth and God taketh away,” he said.
“Evil lovers of death took your life, my Dvir, but they did not harm your innocence, light and love. You left us pure, and we will try to bring about light and goodness, to strengthen our family despite the pain and to choose life,” Yoav Sorek added.
As the funeral began, those in attendance sang songs in Sorek’s honor.
Following the funeral, protesters gathered at several West Bank junctions. Security forces detained and arrested several of the demonstrators after they blocked roads, caused other disturbances and scuffled with police.
Earlier, Yoav Sorek said those who didn’t get the chance to know his son “missed out,” while Dvir’s teachers remembered him as having a “heart of gold.”
“He was found clutching the books that he’d bought,” said Rabbi Shlomo Wilk, the head of the Migdal Oz seminary Machanayim.
Sorek was also mourned by author and left-wing activist David Grossman, one of whose books he was carrying when he was killed.
Sorek’s grandfather Rabbi Binyamin Herling, an educator and Holocaust survivor, was also killed in a terrorist attack in the West Bank in October 2000.
No Palestinian terror group has claimed credit for Thursday’s attack, but both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have praised Sorek’s murder.
Authorities have launched a wide-scale manhunt for the attackers and the army sent further troops to the West Bank.
Visiting the site where Sorek’s body was found, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “settle the score” with whoever was behind the attack.