Slain terror victim was planning romantic dinner for his wife when stabbed
Yotam Ovadia, 31, was making his way to his parents' home to collect items for a Tu B’Av dinner with his wife when 17-year-old Mohammad Tareq Yousef stabbed him multiple times; 'This has broken us. This was a boy who was our whole world,' says uncle.
“Yotam was a humble and special man. My sister (Tal) is in shock and only now is she starting to digest it. We now have two small children who need looking after,” said Oren Adari, the victim’s brother-in-law.
Ovadia arrived at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus in critical condition where he was treated for hours before medics were forced to declare his death.
“We were in the north and we heard about the attack. We made our way toward Jerusalem and realized that Yotam had been wounded and that he was on the way to hospital. When we got there we realized what had happened.”
Adari also asked that actions taken by the IDF be dedicated to Yotam. “Everything you do, all the checkpoints, arrests and guarding, dedicate it to Yotam,” the emotional brother-in-law said.
Ovadia is survived by his wife and two sons—Harel aged two and ten months, and Itay aged seven months. His funeral will take place on Friday at 1pm in Givat Shaul Cemetery in Jerusalem.
“The Ovadia family is known throughout the whole community,” said Yaakov Ovadia, Yotam’s uncle. “The whole family has served in the security services. At his brother’s funeral, Yotam said: ‘I thought it was my turn.’ This has broken us. This was a boy who was our whole world.
“It’s hard for all of us. It is harder for the father because he was the only son he had left after all the sorrow we went through. Being a big family, we will support and help them as much as possible,” he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also expressed his condolences to the Ovadia family.
“In the name of the people of Israel, I would like to send my condolences to the family of Yotam Ovadia, may his memory be blessed, who was murdered in a terror attack last night in the Adam community,” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook.
“Yotam left behind his wife, Tal, and his two children, Harel and Itay. We are all praying for the health of the other people wounded in the attack. May Yotam’s memory be blessed and ingrained in our hearts forever.”
President Reuven Rivlin also addressed on Friday the stabbing attack.
"All those who want to harm us know that we will not allow terrorism to raise its head, we will pursue and punish every murderer and those who assist them," Rivlin concluded.
Security forces carried out extensive operations overnight Thursday in the West Bank village of Kobar where Yousef lived. His family were investigated and their documents were confiscated. The family house was also mapped ahead of a planned demolition. In addition, four Palestinians were arrested and taken in for questioning.
Authorities also decided to bar workers from Kobar from entering settlements in the area throughout the day.
During the military’s activities, violence erupted on the streets with some 150 Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov Cocktails, burning and rolling tires at the soldiers, who responded with riot-dispersal methods. No one was injured in the riots.
Shortly before 9pm on Thursday, Yousef infiltrated Adam through the fence, passed through the settlement's playground and stabbed a 58-year-old man who was left in moderate condition and a 41-year-old man who was left in light condition.
Assaf Ravid, who was lightly wounded after a brief scuffle with the terrorist before shooting him dead, recalled the incident, saying “I realized it was either me or him.”
“I went out for a bike ride and put the bike in the car because I was going for a ride outside the community. I always have a gun in my bag,” Ravid said.
“I heard the shouting so I went closer to see what the commotion was and suddenly the terrorist burst toward me and I asked him why there is a fight? What is going on? He looked at me for two seconds and took out a knife from his back pocket and then stabbed me in the shoulder,” he recalled.
“I escaped from him since my gun was in my bag. I got it out, turned around and he was standing opposite me. He realized he had no chance. I shot him once and he continued to walk in my direction so I shot him two more times. Then he fell,” he said.
“I couldn’t really see. When I approached him he was covered in blood. Then I realized there has been a terror attack. While he was pulling out the knife I realized it was either me or him.”