Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen, father of Nerya Cohen ZL, went to visit his son’s grave yesterday, Jan. 14, the child’s birthday.
Nerya and seven other students at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem were murdered on March 6, 2008 in a massacre by a Palestinian from Jerusalem who made his way into the yeshiva by hiding his rifle in musical instrument case.
On his way to visit the grave on Mount Olives (Har Zeitim) in Jerusalem, Rabbi Cohen, his wife and their two young children were attacked by rock-throwing Arab terrorists. They struck at three different points on the road, causing heavy damage to the car but no injuries to him, his wife and their two young children.
“I began weaving my way through, while they continued to pursue us. At some point I got out of the car and drew my gun; only then did they flee,” he said.
Rabbi Cohen called the police, who took 45 minutes to arrive and explained they were busy with other events. In the meantime, other cars also were hit by rocks.
“There is no question that that the police are guilty of negligence in ensuring the safety of the citizens of Jerusalem and the State of Isla,” said Rabbi Cohen. “These were not children who were attacking; they were much older. You must understand that a stone can kill or cause life-long injury. Why do the police and state not take this seriously? My daughter wanted to visit the grave today but refrained from doing so because of this attack.
“This is not a normal situation that a bereaved father cannot visit the grave of his son who was murdered by a terrorist. This is a terrible situation, and it causes me a terrible feeling.”
Nerya was one of eight yeshiva students who were murdered by Alaa Abu Dhein from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. The terrorist was killed by Mercaz HaRav student Yitzchak Dadon and off-duty IDF Captain David Shapira, who both fought back using their personal firearms. Eleven other students were wounded, five of them in serious to critical condition. Nerya was 15 when he died.
According to a subsequent opinion poll, the massacre was supported by 84 percent of the Palestinian population.
Only in Israel.
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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