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Pascal Avrahami
Photo: Noam Moscowitz
Slain police sniper laid to rest
Hundreds pay their final respects to legendary sharpshooter Pascal Avrahami, killed in murderous terror spree which plagued Israel's south Thursday

Pascal Avrahami, 49, a police sniper who was killed in Thursday's terror attacks on southern Israel, was laid to rest on Friday, at the Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem.

 

Avrahami was killed by terrorist fire near the Egyptian border, while Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz briefed journalists nearby.

 

Escalation in the south:

 

The briefing had followed a blood-drenched day, in which multiple terror attacks near Eilat left eight people dead and dozens injured.

 

Hundreds of people – friends, relatives and fellow officers, including Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, all members of the police's top brass, as well as YAMAM officers past and present – arrived at the cemetery to pay their final respects.

 

Avrahami was a legendary sharpshooter with YAMAM (the Israeli SWAT Unit) and was the police force's elite anti-terror unit's most veteran sniper.

 

A decorated officer, Avrahami was awarded the police medal of valor in 1990 and in 1995 received the medal of distinguished service.

 

"The Israel Police and the State of Israel bow their heads before the bravery of this man, who gave his life for us," Police Commissioner Danino eulogized.

 

"We have lost a brave warrior who fought fearlessly. There is no doubt that the YAMAM team's actions saved lives yesterday," he said.

 

Avrahami's commander spoke next: "We're standing here, unable to fathom the loss of YAMAM's number one officer... You did not hesitate yesterday, didn't falter for one moment and your heroic actions saved many lives.

 

"You were the pillar of fire showing us the way. We promise to carry on with your work."

 

Tal Avrahami also eulogized his father: "Why is it that God always takes away the very best? I'm sure there is no one up there like you.

 

"You were a role model for us and the entire people of Israel. A real hero. Many people are alive because of you and they don't even know it… You are the salt of the earth, the pride of the family. I promise that we will be strong for you. Give us the strength and watch over us from heaven, as you did on earth."

 

Avrahami was also a French national, and several representatives of the French Embassy attended the funeral service.

 

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé denounced the terror attack, saying that "nothing can justify such acts, which took place while every effort should be focused on achieving peace."

 

Avrahami is survived by a wife and three children.

 

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