JERUSALEM – Thousands of people took part in the funeral on Monday of a rabbi who died of firearm wounds he suffered in an attack near West Bank.
Aihad Ettinger, 47, was fatally injured during a shooting near the Ariel settlement on Sunday.
The attacker killed a soldier, 19, with a knife and stole his gun, which he fired at three cars, wounding Ettinger and another soldier before fleeing the scene.
Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett attended the funeral and described the rabbi as “a hero in life and a hero in death” when speaking to the bereaved family.
“In death, he did not do what most people would have done in that situation. He did not run away, but strove to confront the terrorist,” he added.
Ettinger, who worked as a Yeshiva, a Jewish seminary, in southern Tel Aviv, left a wife and 12 children, aged 18 months to 21 years.
The funeral started at his family home in the West Bank area of Eli before his body was carried to a cemetery in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva, according to local media.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the scene of the attack, where he has been brought up to date with the ongoing manhunt to capture the attacker.
The perpetrator, believed to be a Palestinian, fled the scene and remains on the run.
After shooting at the third car, the assailant drove away from the scene in a vehicle.
“We know the identity of the attacker,” Netanyahu said.
“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces), Shin Bet (The Israel Security Agency), and security forces are in close pursuit. We know where he lives, we have located his family. I have instructed (forces) to begin demolishing his home, and the preparations have already begun,” he added.
Israeli media identified the attacker as Omar Amin Abu Laila, 19, who apparently has no political affiliations or any links to Palestinian organizations.
According to the Israeli newspaper of Haaretz, some of his relatives have been arrested by the Israeli forces that searched his family home.