Thousands of mourners on Tuesday attended the funeral of Ziv Mizrahi, the 18-year-old soldier stabbed to death at a gas station on Route 443 in the West Bank on Monday.
Mizrahi, an IDF private in the Nitzan Battalion of the Combat Intelligence Corps, was promoted to corporal after his death. He is the 22nd casualty killed by Palestinian assailants since the wave of terror and violence broke out in October.
“How beautiful you were the day you were born,” his mother reportedly cried at the funeral, according to NRG. “I don’t want to be here.”
“Twelve years ago I mourned my brother and thought I was done with this. Now I am a grieving father, but they won’t break our spirit,” Mizrahi’s father, Doron Mizrahi, said.
Ziv was the nephew of Alon Mizrahi, murdered in a terrorist attack at Jerusalem’s Cafe Hillel in September 2003.
A teary-eyed Doron Mizrahi then praised his late son for saving his officer during the attack. “Even with a knife in his heart, he shot the terrorist,” Mizrahi said. “That’s Ziv, a hero of Israel.”
“It’s a huge tragedy and it’s impossible to digest this thing,” Roi Mizrahi, the soldier’s uncle, said in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday. “He was someone innocent who didn’t do anything.”
MK Moti Yogev and Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar were among those who attended the ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, according to Ynet news.
Mizrahi sustained severe abdominal wounds when 16-year-old Ahmad Taha from the West Bank village of Qatanna stabbed him repeatedly at a gas station on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway.
Magen David Adom paramedics attempted to revive Mizrahi, who served as a driver in the army, but a spokesman for the rescue service said first responders were forced to declare him dead at the scene.
A female IDF officer was also stabbed and wounded in the attack. She was evacuated to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem with light injuries. She was released from hospital Tuesday morning.
The Palestinian assailant was shot and killed by soldiers at the scene. Another woman was lightly hurt when her car was hit by gunfire from security forces trying to thwart the attack.
Judah Ari Gross and Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.