This past week, while Israel prayed for a kidnapped Israeli corporal and Israeli soldiers struck at Gaza, a future Israeli soldier was buried in Jerusalem.
Eliyahu Asheri, an 18-year-old from the West Bank settlement of Itamar, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists and murdered immediately. On Thursday, he was laid to rest on the Mount of Olives, a historic cemetery overlooking the Old City. Thousands of mourners, including Asheri’s friends, Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar and members of the Australian diplomatic corps, attended the two-hour funeral service on a hot, humid day. Asheri’s father, Yitro, is an émigré from Adelaide.
Asheri, enrolled in a religious army-preparatory program, was abducted while hitchhiking in northern Jerusalem. His body was found in a field near Ramallah.
“The last day I saw you, you were in our house in Itamar, and you made peace between siblings,” said Yitro Asheri.
“You went up to heaven in a storm, like Eliyahu [Elijah] the prophet,” Miriam Asheri said of her son in her eulogy. “Now, Eliyahu, stand before God and speak out in favor of the nation of Israel.”
A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committee, an armed Palestinian group, said it killed Asheri because Israel refused to stop its “aggression” against Gaza.
Israel had attacked Hamas facilities in Gaza in an effort to gain the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, another kidnapping victim, being held in Gaza.
While Israel mourned for Asheri, the army’s effort to find Shalit continued.