A mother’s most horrifying nightmare materialized last Sunday, December 9, when terrorists opened fire at a bus stop in Samaria, targeting a young woman 30 weeks pregnant. Tragically, the mother was badly wounded and the baby died four days after it was brought into the world via an emergency C-Section. But in his short time in the world, Amiad Yisrael galvanized all of Israel and may have even saved his mother’s life.
Shira Ish-Ran, 21, and her husband Amichai were waiting at a bus stop near the Ofra Junction in Samaria last Sunday. They were newlyweds and Shira was pregnant with their first child, also the first grandchild for both sets of grandparents. The couple was hitchhiking home, a common necessity in Israel, especially in areas where public transportation is sporadic.
Shira and Amichai live in Elon Moreh, a religious community of fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. Established in 1980, the small community outside of Shechem (Nablus) has been struck by several terror attacks. The young couple was visiting Shira’s parents in Beit El when they were caught in the deadly crossfire.
A car carrying two Palestinian terrorists slowed as it approached the bus stop and as it passed, one of the Palestinians opened fire with an automatic weapon. Seven Israelis were injured in the shooting including the young couple and four 16-year old teens, two girls and two boys. IDF troops who were nearby opened fire, hitting the vehicle, but the terrorists succeeded in fleeing the scene.
In an attempt to save the baby’s life as well as the life of his mother, doctors performed an emergency C-Section. Shira, who had lost a dangerous amount of blood, was placed in an induced coma. The baby was delivered and taken to the neonatal intensive care at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem.
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On Tuesday evening, Amichai Ish-Ran, who has Canadian citizenship, entered his wife’s hospital room and saw her conscious for the first time since she awoke from her induced coma.
On Wednesday night, Shira’s firstborn was laid to rest on the Mount of Olives, the burial site reserved for the holiest of Jews. Shortly before the burial, the baby underwent a symbolic circumcision to enter him into the covenant of Israel and received his Jewish name: Amiad Yisrael. Amiad means ‘my nation is eternal’. Due to their serious medical condition, the young parents were unable to attend the funeral.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365, visited the family in the hospital on Sunday and met with Shira’s father Chaim Silverstein, director of Keep Jerusalem United.
“Chaim explained to me that the baby may have saved his mother’s life,” Rabbi Weisz told Breaking Israel News. “The doctors believe that since Shira was pregnant, her body produced extra blood. This may have saved her life since she lost so much blood in the attack.”
Weisz related a deeply touching experience. When the young couple was reunited for the first time after the attack, the family began to sing the comforting words of Jeremiah 33:
“Od yishama b’harei yehuda” (“The voice of bride and groom will yet be heard in the cities of Judea”), a Hebrew song that is traditionally sung at Jewish weddings.
“We felt that Shira and Amichai were reborn, God had reunited them and given them a new lease on life and that we were witnessing a second wedding,” Silverstein said. “They have gone through so much, the worst experience a mother and father can have. They are still in so much physical and emotional pain and have a long road to recovery ahead. Yet they are facing it with so much love and joy; love for each other, love of life, and love of Israel.”
Shira has a large wound in her upper leg and she may not be able to walk. She will require a long period of intensive medical care and Elon Moreh is an out-of-the-way location. After what happened to her while hitchhiking, Israel365 would like to be able to help buy Shira and Amichai a vehicle so that they can travel more safely. Rabbi Weisz said, “As soon as I heard about this, I realized that we needed to help. I can’t imagine Shira and Amichai having to wait at bus stops anymore.”
Israel365 immediately gave funds to the family to provide taxi service to and from the hospital. “I’d love to offer long term support to Shira and Amichai and let them know how many people all over the world love them.”
To help purchase Shira and Amichai a protected vehicle, please click here.