Hattab's aunt, who he had never met, was killed when she was 14-years-old during an attack on a syngagoe on the island of Djerba in Tunisia. On October 8th 1985, a local police officer opened fire during Simchat Torah prayers at the synagogue, killing three people – one of them Yehudit Bucharis. Yehudit's mother, and Yoav's grandmother, now lives in the city of Ofakim in southern Israel.
The synagogue attack in 1985 came about a week after Israel had bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunisia as part of Operation Wooden Leg. The bombing led the Jewish community of Tunisia to fear they would suffer retribution attacks. After a quiet yet tense week – which included insults and isolated incidents of stone throwing at Jewish stores – the shooting attack occurred at the Tunisian synagogue.
The gunman shot a round of submachine fire – first at the synagogue where the men were located, and later at the hostel nearby - which served as the women's section of the temple. Along with Bucharis, 5-year-old Yoav Hadad was killed along with 56-year-old Haim Cohen who worked at the synagogue.
After the incident, it was revealed that the officer who had opened fire on the synagogue was the brother of one of those killed in the Israeli bombing against the PLO headquarters in Tunisia.
Fifteen years after the synagogue attack in Tunisia, Yehudit's mother made Aliyah to Israel. Her daughter's remains were brought to Israel just six months ago.
The latest attack at the kosher supermarket in suburban Paris which resulted in the death of Yoav caused his relatives to relive the trauma they endured during Yehudit's murder. "It cannot be described in words what she is overcoming in recent days," said a family member regarding Yoav's grandmother's sorrow after learning another one of her relatives had become a victim to anti-Semitic terror.
Yoav's father, Rabbi Benjamin Hattab, spoke with Israel's Chanel 20 and described the moments of horror he experienced as he learned that his son was in fact inside the kosher supermarket that had been taken over by a terrorist.
"I knew that my son worked in the area and I called his phone but he didn't answer. I knew he was there. At 6:30 pm they called and said he was okay. At 7 pm, I said I wanted to talk to him and they said 'wait a bit.' At 10 pm, they told us he had died," said Yoav's father.
Yoav's father learned that his son had died while trying to overcome the terrorist. According to Rabbi Hattab, his son hid in a freezer but was forced to leave his hiding spot after the terrorist threatened to kill everyone if those who hid did not join the rest of the hostages.
When Yoav left the freezer, he found a weapon; however when Yoav tried to fire the weapon it did not budge – and the terrorist shot him.
"I spoke with the President of France Francois Hollande and I told him that if the police had not waited 4-5 hours, maybe my son would still be alive. He lost blood," said Rabbi Hattab in the interview with Channel 20.
Funerals in Israel
The coffins carrying the four victims of the kosher supermarket attack in France will be transferred to a plane that will depart to Israel from France at 10:30 pm on Monday night and will arrive in Israel at 4 am in the morning on Tuesday.
The funeral for the terror victims is scheduled to take place on Monday at 12 in the afternoon at the Givat Shaul (Har HaMenuhot) cemetery. Because of the tense situation in East Jerusalem, the families of the victims requested that the four men not be buried on Mount of Olives, as it was originally planned.
Although the four men will be buried in Israel, Israel will not officially recognize them as victims of hostilities because they are not Israeli citizens.
The state will fund the funeral services as well as the families' of the victims stay in hotels during their time in Israel. The cost of the flights for the bodies of the victims and their families to arrive in Israel will be funded by the Jewish Agency, the Ministry of Absorption and Immigration and other Jewish organizations. Some of the funds were donated by high-standing Jewish individuals.
Netanyahu instructed Minister Limor Livnat to organize the preparations for the funeral.
While the funeral will not be a state funeral, President Reuven Rivlin will participate in the ceremonies as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman of the Opposition Isaac Herzog. An official representative of France will also reportedly attend the funerals.
The Religious Services Ministry will not charge a fee for the plots (which would have cost 30 thousand shekels per family), although the procedure requires a foreign citizen to pay for plots. The Jerusalem Municipality will assign social workers to accompany the families.
Itamar Eichner contributed to this report.