Speaking Thursday morning after the discovery of the murder of Eliyahu Asheri, 18 from Itamar, his teacher Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim said, “We lost one of the best boys. The contrast between his goodness and radiant smile and the evil and cruelty of the other side is so extreme.” Rabbi Nissim heads the pre-military Tzufit preparatory academy, where Eliyahu was a student.
Thursday morning, Eliyahu’s parents, Yitro and Miriam, and his four siblings, were given the bitter news of his death.
Rabbi Nissim arrived at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir Thursday to identify the boy’s body. He told Ynet, “Early this morning, Itamar Rabbi Avi Ronsky contacted me, after receiving news of Eliyahu’s death. We decided that he would go to the family’s home and I went to the Forensic Medicine Institute.”
He recalled Eliyahu as a smiley, optimistic and quiet youth. “The Israeli community owes him. We all owe him. He was one of society’s best,” Rabbi Nissim said. “He loved to help people; he was a person of faith and roots regarding the state and land of Israel. Eliyah came to preparatory program to build himself up before his military service. He had one more year left.”
Itamar’s 14th casualty
A heavy cloud of mourning descended on Itamar, when bitter news of Eliyahu’s death and the discovery of his body reached residents of the Samaria settlement.
Eliyahu's mother, Miriam, and sister mourn (Photo: Alex Kolomvitsky)
The family was informed towards morning by rabbis Avi Ronsky and Haim Druckman, who arrived at their home in Itamar to inform them of their son’s murder. The two rabbis have been accompanying the family over the past few agonizing days and were the ones who first received the dreaded report from the IDF and police.
Eliyahu Asheri is the 14th victim of Palestinian terrorism to be buried by residents of Itamar in the last few years.
Thursday at 6:00 a.m. a morning prayer service was held at the Itamar synagogue. At 7:00 a.m. the message was released by beeper to community residents (each family has a beeper to keep informed of settlement news) informing of Eliyahu’s death.
Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division Brig. Gen. Yair Golan and Commander of the Samaria Brigade Col. Yuval Bazak arrived at the settlement Thursday morning and met with the secretariat to explain details of the boy’s murder. Afterwards they went to the Asheri home to break the difficult news to his family.
Naveh said that Eliyahu was shot to death at close range on Sunday, shortly after he was kidnapped. “The abduction of Eliyahu Asheri took place on Sunday evening when he was on his way from the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem to the settlement of Ofra. He was murdered at the time of the kidnapping or shortly after, and his body was buried in Ramallah. He was shot at short range with a handgun,” Naveh said.
“Eliyahu was kidnapped by operatives from Ramallah connected with the Popular Resistance Committees. We begin investigations into the incident on Monday after the PRC’s announcement. On Tuesday suspicions grew stronger after the family’s report that their son was missing – on Monday we had done initial checks and no one had been reported missing.”