Funerals of Israeli teenagers bring tears and memories

By Anav Silverman and Aryeh Savir - Tazpit News Agency, July 1, 2014
The procession at Elad for Eyal Yifrach (Photo: Tehila Damary/Tazpit News Agency)

The procession at Elad for Eyal Yifrach (Photo: Tehila Damary/Tazpit News Agency)

The families of the three murdered Israeli teenagers have conducted separate funeral services for their sons.

Gilad Sha'ar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach were buried side-by-side in Modi'in cemetery this afternoon.

Thousands gathered together in their home communities, with government ministers speaking at each of the individual services.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon spoke at the service for Eyal Yifrach in Elad. He said: “The song of their lives was stopped. They were kidnapped and murdered just because they are Jews.

“Even in these hours, our security forces are looking for their murderers and we will not rest until we find them. Before us stands a cruel enemy, a terror organization that seeks to kill us. But we will not be afraid and they will pay a heavy price.”

Eyal's father, Uri Yifrach, wept as he said: “You were such an example to your family. Your brothers are missing you, Eyal.

The boy's granfather said he was convinced the yeshivah student had struggled with the kidnappers "to show them that we are not afraid, because he was a hero in his soul, a hero in his love to the land of Israel, a hero of his love for the people of Israel, and certainly did not go like sheep to the slaughter".

Finance Minister Yair Lapid spoke at 16-year-old's Gilad Sha’ar’s service in Talmon and Education Minister Shay Piron spoke at Naftali Frenkel’s service in Nof Ayalon.

Both ministers spoke of the unity of the nation of Israel in the face of the heavy tragedy.

“We will find the killers and punish them. The real revenge will be in the ability to bridge the gaps between us,” said Mr Lapid. “We need each other on this day. We need one another, not anger, we need no further split, we need love, a common language. We are mourning a life which will not be actualised.”

Shirel Sha'ar, Gilad's sister, said: "I remembered all the times we argued, how you would wake me up in the mornings to go to school.

The community of Nof Ayalon gathered together to remember 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel.

His father, Avi Frenkel, said: “Three young boys killed in cold blood, in a shared fate, which in turn can only make us better people. Your death will lead this nation together onwards. Rest in peace my dear son."

Naftali's mother, Racheli Frenkel, added: “Those people were out there to hunt, and you were those chosen. We are thankful for the army, police, security forces that you promised to bring the boys back and they did. We will learn to sing without you. We will always hear your voice within us, Naftali.”

Last updated: 7:16pm, July 1 2014