Tel Aviv – At their families’ requests, the funerals of the four victims of the hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket in Paris will be held in Israel Tuesday, the prime minister’s office said.
The coffins with the bodies of Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel Saada, accompanied by family members, are scheduled to land at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport in the morning.
The interment ceremony is scheduled to start at noon (1000 GMT) at Jerusalem’s Giv’at Shaul cemetery, a statement said.
Braham’s widow, Valerie, said her husband, in his 40s, would rest next to their first son, who died several years ago and was also buried in Israel.
“I know that only there he would have wanted to be,” she told Israel’s Channel 2 television, packing for the flight.
Braham, a father of four, also has a 14-year-old son from a previous marriage who lives in Israel.
She said she had sent him to pick up a few groceries ahead of the Jewish Sabbath and got worried when he did not answer his phone.
“He never fails to answer. Even when he’s busy, he’ll answer me and say ‘I’ll call you back in two minutes.’ I started worrying. I sent him messages and then I felt something was wrong.
“Philippe – It doesn’t surprise me, the way I know him – he apparently tried to talk with the terrorist or something and he (the terrorist) apparently didn’t like that and then happened what happened,” she told the channel in French-accented Hebrew.
Hattab, in his early 20s, from Tunisia, and the son of Tunis’s distinguished Chief Rabbi Betto Hattab, was a student in Paris.
Cohen, also in his early 20s, worked at the kosher supermarket, according to a cousin. He appears to be the one who, according to witnesses, grabbed a gun put on the counter by the terrorist, but was killed when he tried to shoot the terrorist and the gun jammed.
Saada was 63 when he died.
The four victims of the Toulouse school shooting were also buried in Jerusalem in March 2012.
Black banners were plastered across the city Monday depicting French and Israeli flags and the French phrase “Jerusalem est Charlie” (Jerusalem is Charlie).
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in France, spoke with members of the Jewish community Monday and, under heavy security, briefly visited the kosher shop.
“If the world doesn’t unite against terrorism, the blows of terrorism will continue to grow to scales that people cannot imagine,” he warned.