Inga Avramyan, who was killed in a rocket attack last week during five days of fighting between Israel and Gaza, was laid to rest Monday at the Alternative Cemetery in Givat Brenner.
Avramyan, 82, was killed Thursday evening, when a rocket fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group hit her home in the central city of Rehovot. She died as she tried to help her paralyzed husband, Sergei, reach shelter.
Sergei has had limited mobility since a car accident left him partially paralyzed and with a leg amputated. He was lightly wounded in the attack.
Some 200 people attended the funeral, including Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli, who represented the government. Sergei, who is still hospitalized, was unable to attend the ceremony.
“Holidays and birthdays will no longer be the same,” mourned Avramyan’s granddaughter, Aya, according to a report from Ynet.
“She loved us, her love was constant and gave us strength to continue. We will remember you as a warm, happy, and optimistic grandmother,” Aya said. “You were everything to your family. We love you, Grandma. We will never forget you.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Chikli said Israel will never surrender to terrorist forces.
“Inga was murdered by despicable terrorists who chose and choose with malicious intent to direct indiscriminate fire at centers of civilian population,” Chikli said. “The ways of the murderous, wretched terrorists, will not succeed. Although we are required to make a sacrifice, we will never bow our heads before evil and we will never surrender to it.”
Avramyan was a Russian teacher who immigrated to Israel from Armenia 30 years ago, with her husband. She is survived by her husband, two children, and several grandchildren.
The couple’s grandson, named only as Arthur, told Channel 12 news on Saturday that Inga and Sergei were making their way to the building’s shelter when the rocket hit.
“They didn’t have time to get to the reinforced room,” he said.
“Grandpa was probably stressed and Grandma tried to help him get up. It was difficult for him to move because his leg was amputated and he is partially paralyzed after a car accident,” Arthur said. “They heard the siren late and had too little time to get to the shelter.”
The direct hit blew a massive hole in the Avramyams’ apartment on the third story of a building in Rehovot, a city of 150,000 some 45 kilometers (27 miles) north of Gaza, raining rubble on the street below.
The Israel Defense Forces said Friday that an Iron Dome interceptor missile suffered a “technical fault” on Thursday, missing the rocket launched from the Gaza Strip that ultimately struck the building in Rehovot, killing Avramyan and injuring several others — four moderately and one lightly.
However, military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari described the issue — the second to plague the system in just over a week — as likely isolated, claiming that the missile defense system managed to down 91 percent of targeted projectiles. Last year, the IDF boasted of a 97% interception rate.
He said the deadly rocket was similar to the hundreds of other crudely made projectiles launched from Gaza over the escalation, but it hit the apartment building at “a complex angle,” causing widespread destruction.
Palestinian laborer Abdullah Abu Jaba, from the Gaza Strip, was also killed by a rocket strike on southern Israel last week, which also seriously injured his brother. A Thai agriculture worker and a Chinese worker were both moderately injured and two foreigners from Moldova were lightly injured.
The IDF said it killed a total of 21 terror operatives during the fighting. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza reported 33 deaths during the fighting. The IDF said at least four civilians were likely killed by failed rockets, and a number of civilians were killed during the initial strikes of the operation early Tuesday morning, targeting senior Islamic Jihad members.
Israel and PIJ agreed to an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire that ended the fighting on Saturday night.