Israeli President Shows Up For 3-Month-Old Terror Victim's Funeral

| by Jared Keever

A three-month-old girl was laid to rest at an early Thursday morning funeral in Jerusalem. Family, friends and onlookers listened to eulogies given for the victim of the Wednesday incident in which a suspected terrorist slammed his car into a crowd of people waiting at a light rail station in the city. 

The Times of Israel reports Chaya Zissel Braun’s funeral was attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The U.S. State Department said the victim was reportedly an American citizen but did not elaborate.

“The incitement on the Arab street and around Jerusalem is increasing,” Rivlin said at the service, according to Israel National News. “The incitement which is backed by the leadership in the Arab world, can wreak havoc on the delicate fabric of life in Jerusalem, and carry us all into a maelstrom of destruction and pain.”

The Wednesday attack left seven others injured and the suspect, Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, dead from gunshot wounds that he sustained while fleeing the scene. 

Witnesses told Haaretz that al-Shaludi drove his car along a roughly 15-yard portion of the light rail track, hitting passengers as they disembarked form the train. He stopped after crashing into a pole at the side of the the track and was shot by police as he attempted to flee on foot. He was arrested and died of his wounds while being treated at a nearby hospital.

One witness reported seeing the car hit Braun’s stroller.

“The stroller was shattered and the mother was screaming,” the unidentified witness said.

Braun was taken to nearby Hadassah Har Hatsofim hospital in critical condition. Although paramedics had been able to revive her at the scene, she died of her injuries at the hospital. 

 Al-Shaludi, 21, was reportedly a known terrorist. Palestinian sources said he was arrested in February 2012 and served 16 months in an Israeli prison. He is the nephew of Mohiyedine Sharif, the former head of the armed wing of Hamas, who was once believed to be the group’s chief bomb maker. Sharif was killed in 1988.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a statement Wednesday following news of the attack. 

“We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack,” the statement read. “We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.”

Sources: Times of Israel, Israel National News, Haaretz

Photo Source: Screenshot via Times of Israel