Thousands of mourners came to bid a final farewell to the four Jewish victims of the January 9 Paris supermarket terror attack at their funerals in Jerusalem. Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, François-Michel Saada and Phillipe Braham were murdered when Amedy Coulibaly, who pledged allegiance to Isis, stormed the Hyper Casher supermarket in eastern Paris on January 9, 2015.
“Yoav, Yohan, Philippe, Francois-Michel, this is not how we wanted to welcome you to Israel. This is not how we wanted you to arrive in the Land of Israel, this is not how we wanted to see you come home, to the State of Israel, and to Jerusalem, its capital. We wanted you alive, we wanted for you, life,” President Reuven Rivlin said in a eulogy to the four victims.
The ceremony at the Givat Shaul cemetery was attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Rivlin and other Israeli ministers and officials. French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal was also in attendance.
Cohen, 22, worked at the market; Hattab, 21, was a student of Tunisian origin and the son of the chief rabbi of Tunis; Braham, 45, was an executive at an IT company, a father of four, and the brother of a rabbi; and Saada, 64, was a retired father of two.
“Yohan, you could have got away, escaped, you could have run – but you did not surrender. You fought with the murderer, to save the life a three year old boy. You succeeded in that, but paid with your life. Just 20 years old, and already a hero,” said Rivlin.
The families had requested that their loved ones be buried in Israel and Netanyahu instructed government officials to help bring the bodies to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu visited the site of the terror attack in Paris on Monday, a day after taking part in the Anti-Terror March.
“A direct line leads between the attacks of extremist Islam around the world to the attack that took place here at a kosher supermarket in the heart of Paris,” Netanyahu said. “I expect all of the leaders, with whom we marched in the streets of Paris yesterday, to fight terrorism wherever it is, also when it is directed against Israel and Jews. Insofar as it depends on me, I will always see to it that Israel marches in the first row of nations vis-à-vis its security and its future.”