Tributes paid to 'loving' kindergarten teacher shot dead near Hebron

Batsheva Nigri was shot dead in front of her daughter


Tributes have been paid to an Israeli teacher who was killed in a drive-by terrorist shooting.

Batsheva Nigri, 42, was shot to death in front of her young daughter on Monday.

The incident occurred near the West Bank city of Hebron when a terrorist opened fire on the vehicle they were driving on the Route 60 highway.

Local officials said Nigri’s six-year-old daughter was also in the car when it came under fire and suffered light shrapnel wounds. 

A man, named as Aryeh Gottlieb, was also travelling in the vehicle and is in a "serious condition" in hospital. 

Nigri, a nursery teacher, was a resident of Beit Hagai at the time of her death but used to live in Efrat. 

Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat, was a neighbour of Nigri for 30 years. He told the JC: “She was a loving, caring and joyful person.” 

Revivi continued: “As a Mayor, I frequently visit our schools. I always went into her class and she was always very bright and cheerful. The kids she was teaching were always happy. 

“She was a nursery teacher who was full of warmth, it was always very fun and enjoyable to go into her class.”

Revivi added: “I’ve known them for so long. I’ve followed all of the kids in the family growing up.

“I also got to know the family on the sad occasions. Their father’s passing was very sudden.”

Avi Hyman, a resident of nearby Efrat, said: "She was the sweetest woman you'll ever meet. She was so caring and compassionate and a born educator and caregiver.

“At the height of the pandemic, we sent our first children to her. Years on, they would run to hug her whenever we crossed paths.

“Two weeks ago, my girls proudly introduced Batsheva to my son, who was due to join her class in September.

“But that all just changed. Batsheva is no more. There truly are no words."

Israeli forces have been searching for the suspects in the attack as well as in a Saturday shooting that killed two Israelis in the northern West Bank.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the attack as a response to Israel's expanding settlement enterprise in the West Bank, but stopped short of claiming responsibility.

The latest attack is part of a sharp escalation in the region in recent months involving Palestinian militants, Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers.

Speaking about the wider security situation, Revivi added: “Every time these terror attacks happen, it’s shocking.

“It’s painful and they cause grief and tension but life is stronger and we need to know how to overcome these incidents.

“On the vast majority of days, there are no incidents like that. However, there are people around us that want to kill us and hurt us and it’s a battle that’s been going on for decades.

“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a solution to stop these events and we need to prevent as many [attacks] as we can.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack and added in a televised statement: “We will catch the murderers and make them pay.”

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