The four Jewish men killed in a Friday terrorist attack at the HyperCacher kosher supermarket in Paris will be laid to rest in Israel.
The decision came after the Foreign Ministry reached out to the families with an offer to bury the victims in Israel, despite the fact that they were not Israeli citizens, and the families accepted.
The funerals are set to take place on Tuesday and the four will officially be recognized as terror victims.
The victims, who were killed shortly before the start of Shabbat on Friday afternoon, were named Saturday as Yohan Cohen, 22, an employee of the HyperCacher store; Yoav Hattab, 21, a student of Tunisian origin and the son of the chief rabbi of Tunis; Phillipe Barham, 45, an executive at an IT company, a father and the brother of a rabbi; and François-Michel Saada, 64, a retired father of two.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat with the organization of the four victims’ funerals, the Israeli leader said in a press release Sunday. The four bodies will be airlifted to Israel on Monday night, and laid to rest on the Mount of Olives, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Contradicting the Yedioth report, however, Rabbi Batto Hattab, the chief rabbi of Tunisia and father of Yoav Hattab, told Israel Hayom his son would be buried at the Har Hamenuhot cemetery in Jerusalem, not the Mount of Olives.
Amedy Coulibaly, the Islamist gunman who murdered the four men and held others hostage before he was killed by French security forces at the kosher store, reportedly told a French journalist at the height of the siege that he had deliberately chosen to target Jews.
The last decade has seen a series of high profile attacks on Jews in France, including the kidnapping and brutal murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006 and a shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012 that left four people dead, including a rabbi and three children.
During the summer, a number of anti-Israel rallies turned violent, including one in which Jewish worshipers were trapped inside a synagogue.
“To all the Jews of France, all the Jews of Europe, I would like to say that Israel is not just the place in whose direction you pray, the state of Israel is your home,” Netanyahu said in a televised statement, referring to the Jewish practice of facing Jerusalem during prayer.