Thousands of Israelis attended the funeral of Amir Khoury, a Christian Arab from Nof Hagalil who was killed after engaging and neutralizing the Palestinian terrorist who murdered four other Israelis in Bnei Brak on Tuesday night.
The Palestinian terrorist carried out his shooting attack in the ultra-Orthodox city, driving from one scene to another, armed with an M-16. He was confronted by Khoury and a partner who were the first to reach the terrorist during the attack after he had already killed four people at two different locations. The policemen succeeded in neutralizing him, but not before Khoury was shot. He was taken to Rabin Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
“He was like that, always the first when something goes down,” his father Jeries Khoury, a former police officer, told the Times of Israel. “He had no fear.”
“He was a hero, the way he and the other officer acted saved lives,” Tel Aviv police commander Amihai Eshed told the family as a camera from Channel 12 news filmed.
The attack in Bnei Brak came shortly after a Palestinian terrorist killed four people in Beersheba and two Palestinian terrorists killed two police officers in Hadera. The three attacks killed 11 people in total, making it the deadliest terror attack in the country since the 2014 Jerusalem synagogue attack.
An officer in the Israel Police, First Sergeant Khoury served as a motorcycle patrolman at the Bnei Brak police station. He is survived by his parents, a brother, and two sisters. His funeral was held on Thursday in the military cemetery of Nof Hagalil. Priests from the Church Of Annunciation in nearby Nazareth were in attendance as were thousands of Israelis from all segments of the population. A Haredi delegation of about 200 people from Bnei Brak who attended Khoury’s funeral to express gratitude for his actions.
“He gave his life for others,” said Yaakov, an ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak resident interviewed on Channel 13 en route to Khoury’s funeral. “He’s from another people, but we are brothers. He fought for us. We are obligated to come [to his funeral]. There is no other possibility.”
“In a small country like ours, personal pain quickly becomes one shared by many, by all the citizens of Israel,” Public Security Minister Omar Barlev told the crowd. “We will not forget Amir. May his memory be a blessing.”
Hanan Rubin, a former Jerusalem city council member who helped organize the buses for the Haredi delegation, explained that attending the funeral with the Christian symbols and rites playing a prominent role was problematic for the religious Jews.
“But they came. They found a way to be a part of this partnership,” Rubin said.
The other victims include Bnei Brak residents Avishai Yehezkel, 29, who was protecting his baby from gunfire, Ya’akov Shalom, 36, and Ukrainian nationals Victor Sorokopot, 38, and Dimitri Mitrik, 23.