Thousands attend funeral of Border Police Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka, 23, killed in terrorist attack in Jerusalem Friday.
Border Police Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka, 23, who was killed Friday in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, was laid to rest shortly after midnight Sunday in the military cemetery in Ashdod.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, Border Police Commander Maj. Gen. Yaakov Shabtai, Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), Ashdod Mayor Yechiel Lasri and dozens of military and police officials were among the thousands of people who attended the funeral to pay their respects to the young fighter and lend support to the grieving family.
Malka was fatally stabbed when a three-man terrorist cell staged two shooting and stabbing attacks near Damascus Gate in the Old City. She died in the hospital shortly after the attack. Another policeman sustained minor shrapnel injuries.
The three terrorists, named as Hamas operative Adel Ankoush, 18, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine operatives Osama Ata, 19, and Baraa Ata, 18, were killed by security forces.
Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Malka wrestled with the terrorist as he stabbed her multiple times before other officers saw what was happening and opened fire, killing him.
“They [the police] told us Hadas fought a terrorist who tried to snatch her weapon. She was trying to engage and he stabbed her, and then the police nearby shot him. Everyone believes her actions saved the lives of the police and civilians who were there. She was a hero,” one of Malka’s friends told Israel Hayom Saturday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement expressing “profound sadness over the death of border policewoman Hadas Malka in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.” He also said he was demanding that “the Palestinian Authority denounce this attack,” and that he expects other nations to do so as well.
President Reuven Rivlin offered his condolences, saying, “My heart goes out to Hadas’ family in this difficult time. I send them a warm embrace of condolences and deeply thank all those who fought valiantly and resolutely to keep the public safe. The heart goes out to the courageous fighter who looks out at us from photos, full of joy and love for the meaningful service she has insisted on undertaking.
“It is the steadfastness of our forces that enables us to continue to live, here in Jerusalem and across the country, a life of security and routine opposite the murderous forces of terrorist organizations. We will pursue all those who help terrorism and we will find them, wherever they may be.”
Erdan said: “We will never forget Hadas, and we will do everything within our power to make her death as meaningful as her life was. We will not yield, and we will not cower before wretched terrorists. We will hunt them down and find those who wish us harm, wherever they may be… Our security forces guard the walls of Jerusalem and you, Hadas, were among their finest.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Malka “fought courageously and heroically against the terrorists, and she is an example for all of us. Her desire to contribute as much as possible was a result of her education and values. The Palestinian Authority’s thunderous silence and its refusal to condemn terrorism, together with the statement made by Fatah, which is headed by Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], that Israel ‘murdered’ three innocent people, proves that there is no partner on the other side.”
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh eulogized Malka, saying: “Jerusalem attracts terrorists because of its symbolism, and time and again the Border Police are at the forefront, shouldering the burden of security.
“Dear Hadas, you join a long list of police casualties. Out of a deep sense of vocation, you sought to join the Border Police after completing your compulsory service, and you wanted to pursue officers’ training. Your friends say that you loved this country and its people and always cared for the welfare of others. Unfortunately, in recent years the police’s most promising young people have been taken too soon, and you were one of them. We promise that terrorist attacks will not deter the police. I salute you.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said, “On behalf of the residents of Jerusalem, I send condolences to the family of Border Police Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka. She was a patriot who insisted on meaningful service. Israel’s security spells uncompromising war against terrorism and [Palestinian] incitement.”
Hundreds of people arrived at the Malka family home in the Givat Azar community near Ashdod on Saturday.
Relatives told Israel Hayom that the young policewoman’s parents and her five siblings were “devastated.”
Sgt. Maj. Kevin Benichou, one of the officers who was at the scene of the attack, eulogized Malka on Facebook.
“My darling, I want you to know, I want everyone to know, you are a hero. You fought like a lioness out there. I want you to know we settled the score. He paid the ultimate price. Knowing I was out there with you will never leave me. In one moment you’ve become an inseparable part of my life,” he wrote.
By Efrat Forsher, Yori Yalon, Shlomi Diaz and Israel Hayom Staff