June 26, 2005
Two teenage victims of Arab terror were buried Sunday night, but no
government official attended the eulogies, nor did the government issue the usual
warnings to the PA against terror.
The government was uncharacteristically silent as mourners accompanied
Avichai Levi, 17 (pictured above), of Bet Haggai, and Aviad Mantzur, 16, of Otniel
to the Mount of Olives Cemetery. Politicians and representatives of the
government were at the burial ceremony, but no one traveled to the homes of the
slain boys to speak at the beginning of the funeral processions. The
government also did not repeat its usual refrain after terror attacks that it will
stop its “good will” measures until the Palestinian Authority (PA) curtails
Avichai, who studied at the Kiryat Arba high school, died immediately after
the attack. Aviad, who was a student at the Susia yeshiva high school, died
early Sunday morning. They were murdered by Arab terrorists from Hevron while
attempting to enter a car that stopped for them while they were hitchhiking
outside of Bet Haggai.
Hevron Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Moti Baruch attended both eulogies.
Several hundred friends and neighbors crowded around the families’ houses. He said
Saturday that the terrorists succeeded in their mission of terror because the
army had lifted travel restrictions on Hevron Arabs as “good will” measures.
Chava Levi, mother of Avichai, said at eulogies for her son, “I am afraid
what the evacuation will do to the people of Israel more than I am afraid of
the evacuation [itself]. Avichai, ask [from the Almighty], for mom, that the
Almighty guard the people of Israel. Heaven forbid that will be a division and
civil war. I am at ease because I know you did not die go to Heaven in vain,
I am prepared to pay the price because I know you completed your mission
here and you are prepared for your mission in heaven.”
The funerals procession stopped in Jerusalem by the house of Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon. Southern Hevron Hills Regional Council leader Tzviki Bar Chai
said, “Mr. Prime Minister, you are struck with the ‘prime minister syndrome’
that says that fleeing under fire of a murderous enemy will bring security.
You have not learned what leadership is. You are not worthy to lead us. You
have finished your role.”
Ariel Lipshitz said at the eulogies for his classmate Aviad, “We are
confused. We don’t understand that you, Aviad, are not with us.” Aviad, the oldest
of five children, was very active in Bnei Akiva and was respected as a very
serious student who always was smiling and full of happiness.
The Mantzur family home often served as an open house for friends and
relatives of terror victims. Arab terrorists have murdered several people,
including other students, at both Otniel and Bet Haggai