Mother of two British sisters murdered in West Bank dies

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis leads tributes to ‘much loved’ Jewish family


The mother of two British-Israeli girls killed in a West Bank shooting has died.

Rabbetzin Lucy Dee and her daughters were shot by Palestinian terrorists on Friday as they drove to a hiking spot in the Jordan Valley.

The British mother's car was forced off the road by gunmen, while her husband, Rabbi Leo Dee, was travelling in a second vehicle with his other children.

Despite an operation over the weekend that removed two bullets from her neck, the British mother succumbed to her wounds on Monday.

Rabbi Dee told the Daily Mail he had followed a Google tracking device to the scene of Friday’s attack, where he saw his wife being airlifted from the wreckage, after getting no answer from her over the phone.

Dee had been travelling with other family members in a car some distance behind his wife and two daughters when a relative called to ask if he knew “about the shooting and if the family was okay.”

“I said everyone was fine, but when I called my wife and two daughters there was no answer,” Dee said.

That was when the rabbi in a panic turned on Google tracking and followed it some 30 miles north of Jerusalem to the settlement of Hamra and the site of the carnage.

Dee also told the BBC that he had not been able to sleep since the deaths of his daughters.

“Every time, I had nightmares and woke up, but the reality was worse than the nightmare, so I went back to sleep. That’s how it went,” he said.

Rabbi Dee served as the Assistant Rabbi for Hendon United Synagogue in 2008- 2011 and Senior Rabbi in Radlett United Synagogue from 2011 until 2014 until making aliyah.

Speaking after the death of his daughters, he said he doesn’t blame the terrorists “as they will be brought to justice” and is concerned about “the tensions between Jews in Israel.”

“I am more worried about the tensions between Jews in Israel,” he said. “Some people think that the new religious government will suppress minority rights and become totalitarian. But this is not a risk in Israel, as religious Jews simply believe in balancing love and justice.

“For our part, we have felt a warm hug of love from Jews in Israel and beyond and we are confident that justice will be done.”

The UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis expressed his “shock” over the news of Friday’s terror attack.

On Twitter he wrote: “No words can describe the depth of our shock and sadness at the heart-breaking news of the murder by terrorists in Israel of Maya and Rina Dee, daughters of Rebbetzen Lucy, who is in a critical condition and Rabbi Leo Dee, my dear colleagues.

“They were much loved in the Hendon and Radlett communities in the UK as well as in Israel, and well beyond. We pray for a refuah shlema for Rebbetzen Lucy and also for those injured in the terrorist attack yesterday on the promenade in Tel Aviv.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said they were “deeply shocked and saddened by the murder by Palestinian terrorists of Maya and Rina Dee,

“We wish Lucy Refuah Shlemah and long life to the family as they cope with this devastating news.”

The UK’s Middle East minister Lord Ahmad said he condemned the attack, while Foreign Secretary James Cleverly held a call with his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, to discuss the “appalling” attack.

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said: “I am shocked by reports of the killing of two British sisters in an appalling and cowardly attack in the West Bank.

“My thoughts are with their family and loved ones. More civilian victims of this cycle of violence show the urgent need for diplomatic efforts to de-escalate.”

Thousands of mourners attended the girls’ funeral on Sunday.

Hamas praised the attack, saying it was retaliation for Israeli “raids” earlier in the week on the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

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