Elan Ganeles’s funeral was held in Ra’anana on Wednesday afternoon, two days after terrorists shot him near the Beit Ha’arava Junction close to Jericho in the Jordan Valley.
“He was the biggest gift in our lives. He wanted so much to see the world and all its aspects,” said Elan’s mother at the funeral. “Our loss is a loss for the world—of such a bright, brilliant, emerging star,” she continued. “He was so loved, he will be missed so much. We feel like a part of our being has been taken from us.”
The gunmen fled the scene before at some stage setting their car on fire and continuing on foot into Jericho, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli security forces announced they captured the suspects around the time of the funeral.
Ganeles, a native of Connecticut, served in the Israel Defense Forces from July 2016 to August 2018. He was living in Manhattan and had traveled to the Jewish state to celebrate a friend’s wedding.
His family flew in from the United States for the funeral.
Ganeles attended the Hebrew Academy in West Hartford and was a 2104 graduate of the Hebrew High School of New England, now part of the New England Jewish Academy. While a student at Columbia University, Ganeles worked as a geospatial analyst at the university’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network.
Ganeles’s murder came hours after brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, slain by a Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist in Samaria the previous day, were buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Hillel, 21, and Yagel, 19, were shot at point-blank range as they drove on the main highway through the village of Huwara near where they lived.