Jews lined the roads and junctions on Monday afternoon as the bodies of brothers Hillel Menachem Yaniv, 22, and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv, 19, were brought to Jerusalem for burial.
The brothers, from the community of Har Bracha in Samaria, were killed in the Palestinian Authority controlled village of Huwara, south of Shechem (Nablus) on Sunday as they were driving on the main highway. Their car was rammed by Arab terrorists, forcing them onto the side of the road. The brothers were then shot to death at point blank range. Israeli security forces are still searching for the terrorists.
Hillel was studying in a Hesder yeshiva program which combines military service with religious studies in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona. According to the Israel Defense Forces, the 22-year-old was a staff sergeant in the Israeli Navy, who served in a patrol boat squadron.
Yigal, who was two weeks away from his twentieth birthday, was studying in a similar Hesder program in the coastal town of Givat Olga. He was trying to qualify to serve in a combat unit.
It was decided that both brothers would be buried next to each other in the Har Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.
הלווית האחים הקדושים שנרצחו בפיגוע הרצחני אתמול ב-חווארה pic.twitter.com/cT2Ohazh51
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Uri Pinsky, head of the Hesder Yeshivot Association, said the brothers were heading home from their yeshivas at the time of the attack.
“We would like to send a big hug to the dear family, to the settlement of Har Bracha, to the Kiryat Shmona and Givat Olga yeshivot, and to all the students of the Hesder yeshivot and Torah students everywhere and anywhere, and call from here on the IDF and the government of Israel not to rest or be quiet until security is restored everywhere throughout our country, to exterminate our wicked enemies and to allow a Jew to travel to yeshiva, home and anywhere he wants with security,” Pinsky said.
The boys’ mother, Esti Yaniv, said, “We have suffered a huge slap in the face from God. We are trying to find the good things and the grace that we were prepared — that we had a family Shabbat, that we had good conversations with the boys yesterday, that we took family photos. God sends us graces. Even with this painful blow, He sends us graces.”
Meanwhile, the Israel National Transplant Center announced on Monday that the brothers carried the organization’s card signifying that they wanted their organs donated. The Center said that with the consent of the parents, Hillel and Yigal’s corneas would be donated to people waiting for transplants to restore their sight.