“Eden, come home!” cried the mother of 19-year-old Eden Atias, the IDF soldier who was stabbed to death by a terrorist, at his funeral Wednesday night.
Thousands gathered at the cemetery in Nazareth Illit, Atias’ home town, as he was laid to rest.
On Wednesday morning, a 16-year-old terrorist stabbed Atias, who fell asleep on a bus that took him to his base. Atias had enlisted in the IDF just two weeks ago.
Among those who eulogized Atias was the mayor of Nazareth Illit, Shimon Gapso, who had personally known the slain soldier as he had studied with his son in the same class at school.
"It is not natural that parents eulogize their 18-year-old son, and it is not natural that an 18-year-old is buried in the ground on which he was supposed to build a home and raise a family,” said Gapso. “The reality in Israel is complex and painful, but even at this difficult time we must remember that we are strong, we have a strong military, we have a strong country, we have someone to rely on.”
Following the attack, demonstrators converged on the Afula Central Bus Station, where the murder took place, in a spontaneous outpouring of public anger.
The demonstrators, mostly young people, streamed through the station with pickets and chants, and garnered support among many passersby.
Angry protesters shouted "Jewish blood is not cheap!" and "Death to Arabs!"
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely stated to Arutz Sheva that the terror attack "is another proof that the Palestinian Authority is not willing to negotiate with Israel", and that its only motivation is to gain "international legitimacy for terror attacks."