Victim of Tel Aviv shooting dies of wounds 11 days after terror attack

He ‘showered nothing but goodness, love and giving on everyone who crossed his path,’ says mother of 32-year-old Or Eshkar, after he succumbed to his injuries

Or Eshkar, 32, victim of a terror shooting in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2023. (Courtesy)
Or Eshkar, 32, victim of a terror shooting in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2023. (Courtesy)

A man seriously wounded in a terrorist shooting attack in Tel Aviv earlier this month has succumbed to his wounds.

Or Eshkar, 32, died on Monday, 11 days after he was shot by a gunman who opened fire outside a cafe on the corner of Dizengoff and Ben Gurion streets. Two other Israelis were less seriously wounded in the attack.

Roni Gamzu, director of Ichilov Hospital, said that “unfortunately, the severity of his wounds was deadly. After a heroic struggle of many days, in which we saw an iron man fight for his life, we were forced to declare his death.”

Natalie Eshkar, Or’s mother, said that “our light of uncommon quality went out today,” a reference to Or’s name, which translates to “light.”

Eshkar “showered nothing but goodness, love and giving on everyone who crossed his path,” his mother said in a statement shared by the hospital. She thanked medical staff, family, friends and “all the people of Israel who were with us, who strengthened us, supported us and prayed.”

The hospital said that Eshkar’s family has decided to donate his organs.

The scene of a terror attack on Dizengoff street, in central Tel Aviv, March 9, 2023. (Avshalom SaassoniFlash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “we hoped and prayed” for Eshkar to recover, but “our hearts are broken.” Opposition leader Yair Lapid wrote that “iron man Or fought until the last moment,” sending condolences to his family and friends.

President Isaac Herzog said his “heart broke” to hear the news, just a few days after he spoke with “his brave mother, and prayed for his recovery together with all of the people of Israel.”

A statement from the family said that Eshkar’s funeral would be held Tuesday with only family and friends in attendance, and requested that the media respect their privacy.

Eshkar, 32, was critically hurt in the terror attack on while on his way to a wedding with his friends Rotem Mansano, 34, and Michael Osdon, 36, who were also hurt. Osdon was released from hospital not long after the shooting, while Mansano remains hospitalized but his condition is steadily improving.

Composite photo showing (from left), Rotem Mansano, 34, Or Eshkar, 32, and Michael Osdon, 36, who were wounded in a terror shooting in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2023. (Courtesy)

The attacker, Mutaz Salah al-Khawaja, fled the scene before being gunned down not long after in a shootout with police officers and civilians.

Osdon told reporters that the three friends were traveling together when they were attacked.

“The terrorist fired, but I was able to move my head and evade the bullet, which hit my cheek. The terrorist fired another bullet at one friend, then the other. He tried to shoot me again, and then I ran to an ice cream store nearby to call rescue services,” he told Channel 13 news not longer after the shooting.

“I was wounded relatively lightly. I am waiting for some cosmetic procedures. Please pray for my friends,” he added.

Israeli troops raided Ni’lin, al-Khawaja’s hometown, following the attack, taking measurements at his house in preparation for its demolition and arresting his father and another family member, the Israel Defense Forces said.

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