French minister flies to Israel for funerals of Toulouse victims

By Jennifer Lipman, March 20, 2012

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister has welcomed the decision of the French Foreign Minister to fly to Israel for the funerals of the rabbi and children murdered in Toulouse in Monday.

The four victims of Monday's attack all had dual French and Israeli citizenship, and will be buried in Jerusalem. The funerals are scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Danny Ayalon said Alain Juppe's presence in Israel for their funerals was an important gesture. He said it showed that "in the face of terror there are no Israelis and no French, Jews and non-Jews, we are all human beings".

Mr Ayalon will meet Mr Juppe tomorrow in Israel.

The bodies were flown back to Israel by the ZAKA International Rescue Unit, who sent a delegation to Israel to supervise the return of the bodies, with volunteers from ZAKA France. The bodies were transferred in an army plane to Paris and will fly out on an EL Al plane tonight.

ZAKA Chairman and Founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said: "Yesterday, ZAKA received a request from the family to assist them in ensuring their loved ones are buried in Israel. After a delay, we were successful in procuring burial plots for them in Jerusalem. ZAKA ambulances will take the bodies from the airport to the cemetery in Jerusalem."

Last updated: 5:41pm, March 20 2012