Kochava Shriki (44) from Rishon Lezion, Itzik Kolengi (28) and Amir Menashe (28) from Petah Tikva and Maor Harush (25) and Elior Priess (26) from Akko, the five Israelis who were killed in the terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, were laid to rest on Friday.
Hundreds attended Itzik Kolengi's funeral at the Segula cemetery in Petah Tikva. His wife, Gilat, who was injured in the attack and currently hospitalized at the Rabin Medical Center in moderate condition, was told of her husband's death on Friday morning. She was unable to attend the funeral due to her medical condition.
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Kolengi's brother-in-law Yair Maman said at the funeral, "I can't believe we are saying goodbye to you. The extent of the horror is indescribable – you went for a vacation and came back in a coffin."
Itzik Kolengi's funeral in Petah Tikva (Photo: Moti Kimhi)
Itzik's brother eulogized him: "I wanted to thank you for being my brother, for getting to share a room with you for more than 20 years. The stunts we pulled together. You are my brother forever. I will never forget you. You always believed in me."
The attack also claimed the life of Kolengi's friend, Amir Menashe, 28, whose funeral followed that of Kolengi in the same cemetery. Itzik and Gilat Kolengi traveled to Bulgaria to mark Itzik's 28'th birthday and the birth of their first child, together with their friends Natalie and Amir Menashe.
Family and friends mourn death of Itzik Kolengi (Photo: Moti Kimhi)
Amir's wife Natalie, who was injured in the attack, arrived at the funeral on a wheelchair supported by family members. "Come back to me," she kept saying. "I can't live without you."
Despite having difficulty standing, Natalie insisted on getting up from her wheelchair to say goodbye to Amir. Amir's sister, Tali, eulogized him: "We take comfort by the fact that you lived life to the fullest and started an amazing family."
Maor Harush's funeral (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv)
Hundreds attended Maor Harush's funeral at the Machar cemetery near Akko. "Put me in your place," Maor's father cried out. Maor's sister, Shira, struggled to get through her eulogy. "How does one say goodbye when one doesn't want to," she said in tears. "This coffin cannot contain your big heart. You loved the sea, your friends, everything you touched. You shall continue to live in our hearts."
Elior Priess, Maor's friend, will be buried at the same cemetery at 4 pm.
Maor and Elior were childhood friends who together with a third friend, Daniel Fahima, traveled to Bulgaria for a vacation. Daniel survived the attack but sustained serious injuries and is hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center.
Kochava Shriki's sisters mourn her loss (Photo: Benny Deutsch)
Kochava Shriki, 44, who was pregnant with her first child, was laid to rest in Rishon Lezion. Family and friends mourned her tragic loss.
"She wanted to be a mother at any cost," her sisters cried out.
Kochava's husband, Yitzhak, who was injured in the attack, required medical attention during the funeral. He told her sisters, "I found her at the end. Now I'm taking her to her new home."
Yitzhak searched for Kochava for hours after being separated from her in the blast. "Only when I arrived in Israel did I realize she was killed. I was told the prime minister wanted to console us and that's how I realized she didn't survive."
Yitzhak Shriki (Photo: Carmit Reuven)
Seventeen injured Israelis are still hospitalized in medical centers across Israel. Most of them suffered minor wounds. Two Israelis who were seriously wounded are hospitalized in the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
Hundreds attended Elior Priess' funeral in Akko, on Friday afternoon, including the northern city's chief rabbi and mayor.
His parents and sisters huddled, grief-stricken, around his coffin, refusing to let go: "This makes no sense. You're my little brother," Liat, Priess' older sister eulogized him.
"We are so proud of the man you've become. Of the choices you made. Please, please return to us, even for a few minutes," she said, sobbing.
Maor Buchnik, Neri Brenner, Shahar Chai and Omri Efraim contributed to the report
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