The two victims killed in a Tel Aviv terror attack Friday afternoon were both buried at the same time on Sunday afternoon, each in his hometown. They were outstanding citizens and in the prime of their lives.
Thousands were present at two separate funerals at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon for the latest victims of terror. Both were young men enjoying the prime of life when a vicious Arab terrorist began a shooting spree on Friday afternoon – the beginning of the weekend in Israel – at Simti Bar on Dizengoff Street, one of the liveliest areas in the city.
Alon Bakal, 26, a fourth-year law student, was buried in the northern city of Carmiel. He was working as a manager of the popular pub when the terrorist attacked.
The night before, he had messaged his father with the words, “I love life.”
His father described him as one of the happiest people, but he certainly had a serious side as well. He served in the elite Golani combat unit during his IDF service and volunteered for an organization that helped the needy.
Last year on Yom HaZikaron – the annual Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror – Bakal wrote on his Facebook page: “Until next Memorial Day, may not one name be added to the list of heroes that is far too long.”
Little did he know that he would be added to that list.
“We have been left crushed and you are there above with your great soul,” his father said in his eulogy, Maariv Online reported. “Alon, my dear and beloved son, how is it possible to write a parting letter for a son who is not yet 27. How can a father write about you? You had such a good attitude… you were such a giver, you collected food for Holocaust survivors… everyone knew you would go far. You loved people and you loved the state. What a king you were.”
“My beloved son, the joy of my life, my Alon, beloved son of my heart, beloved of my soul. I always bear a heavy burden, but the pain, this hard pain I will never be able to bear,” his mother cried.
“You were a man of values,” his brother said. “You knew how to get close to people and to touch them and to make people happy. You acted and got others to act.”
The second victim, Shimon Ruimi, 30, a civilian employee of the IDF, hailed from the southern town of Ofakim, where he was laid to rest. He was celebrating a friend’s birthday in Tel Aviv with a few buddies and had just stepped outside when the shooting began.
Click on link below to see Ruimi’s mother state courageously (in Hebrew): “They [terrorists] will see the unity that is here, and the love of Israeli people will deter them.” (Courtesy Youtube)
Yisrael Avitan, another friend who attended what would have been a birthday celebration, was wounded during the attack. “The bullet entered and exited from my back,” he told Ynet. “It’s surreal. We got through Lebanon, we got through Gaza, and it happens to us in Tel Aviv. We’ve gone through so many things and then suddenly at a bar in Tel Aviv on a Friday afternoon….”
“Our hearts are with the family and we will support them every step of the way,” Ofakim Mayor Itzik Danino said. He joined about 2,000 mourners at the funeral.
“They [terrorists] will see the unity that is here, and the love of Israeli people will deter them,” Ruimi’s mother stated courageously.
Police and security forces are still searching for the terrorist, 29-year-old Nashat Milhelm from the northern Arab Israeli village of Arara, who is likely armed and in the Tel Aviv district.