JERUSALEM (Jul. 17)
The toll from this week’s terror attack against Israelis was particularly chilling: Among the dead was one infant who had not yet entered the world when the terrorists struck.
A second infant was one of three generations of one family wiped out in Tuesday’s ambush of a bus near the West Bank settlement of Immanuel.
The premature baby died Wednesday after his mother, Yehudit Weinberg, 22, was wounded in the attack.
She was eight months pregnant when the emergency Caesarean section was performed. Weinberg was reported in serious condition Wednesday.
The other infant killed in Tuesday’s attack was 9-month-old Tiferet Sarah Shilon.
Her father, Gal, 35, and grandmother, Zilpa Kashi, 69, were also killed.
Tiferet’s mother and two siblings — a twin sister, Galia Esther, and a 30-month-old brother, Or-Chaim — were wounded in the attack.
The other victims in the attack, all from Immanuel, were identified as Galila Ades, 46; Yonatan Gamliel, 16; Karen Kashani, 20; and Ilana Siton, 35. Sixteen people remained hospitalized Wednesday. At least one was reported in critical condition.
The tragedy of the Shilon family stood out amid the horror of the attack.
Gal Shilon was killed by the terrorists when he ran to the scene to try to help his family after his wife, Ayelet, called on a cell phone from the bus to tell him of the attack.
“They’re shooting at us,” Ayelet Shilon was quoted as telling her husband. “There are terrorists here. They set off explosives.”
She and her family were returning from a visit to her mother’s home in Givatayim, near Tel Aviv, when the terrorists detonated bombs that stopped the bus and then opened fire on fleeing passengers.
After getting his wife’s phone call, Gal Shilon tried without success to find a neighbor who could drive him to the entrance to the settlement.
He finally got a lift with a gardener.
When they arrived at the scene, the terrorists, who were dressed in Israeli army uniforms, opened fire on them.
The Shilon family moved to the fervently Orthodox settlement of Immanuel from central Israel two years ago after becoming religiously observant.
Gal Shilon, who had a pilot’s license, devoted himself to religious studies at the settlement.
“This was such a special family,” the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot newspaper quoted one Immanuel resident as saying. “Quiet and pleasant people who wanted to help everyone.”
Another passenger, Gamliel called his mother from his cell phone shortly after the roadside bombs were detonated.
“Mom, there was an attack, I’m ok,” the youth told his mother, according to the rabbi of Immanuel, Yitzhak Anaki.
Shortly afterward, Gamliel was killed by terrorist gunfire.
Gamliel was on his way home from Bnei Brak, where he had just completed three years of study at a yeshiva.
Following the summer break, he was due to begin studying at the Kol Yehuda Yeshiva, also in Bnei Brak.
Anaki described Gamliel as a “conscientious, talented and serious” young man who understood the importance of his religious studies.
A friend, Natan, told Israel Radio that Gamliel was always ready to help other students.
The friend, who was also planning to continue studies at Kol Yehuda, said their parting exchange was “that we’d meet next year at the yeshiva.”
Gamliel is survived by his parents and six siblings.
For the extended Siton family, this was the second brush with tragedy.
Ilana Siton, 35, was killed and her 14-year-old daughter, Tehila, was seriously wounded in Tuesday’s attack.
Last December, four daughters of a cousin of Ilana’s husband were wounded in a terror attack near Immanuel that involved nearly identical tactics.
Following the December attack, in which Arab terrorists killed 10 Israelis, the father of the four girls decided the security situation was too grave to remain in Immanuel, and the family left the settlement.
Ilana Siton was married and a mother of six children ranging in age from 18 months to 18.
Many residents of Immanuel knew Siton, especially the women who went to her for cosmetic treatments.
She was described as a vibrant woman who supported her family and was active in the community.