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Father Of Groom Murdered In Friday Attack

"One can only wonder how a 74-year-old mustered the strength to drive the car for 15 kilometers with the wounds he had. He realized his son was dead, thought his wife might be, and was himself fighting for his life.
First Publish: 6/22/2003, 12:18 PM

Tzvi Goldstein, 47, of the north Binyamin community of Eli, was buried late last night in Jerusalem. He was driving with his wife and parents to celebrate his son's wedding Sabbath when two terrorists waiting on the side of the road opened fire near the village of Silwad, north of Ofrah. For reasons that only later became clear, the car continued southward for some 15 kilometers until it finally veered off the road and overturned. Goldstein was killed, his parents - from Plainview, Long Island, New York - were seriously wounded, and his wife was lightly wounded.

Tzvi Goldstein was sitting next to his father in the car, and their two wives in back. Tzvi was shot in the neck and was apparently unable to move his foot off the accelerator; his father, who was also shot, leaned over and steered the car as best he could for some 15 kilometers. It is to be noted that bullets hit him on the side of his head and left lung, as well as over his kidney and liver. As a person close to the family said,
"One can only wonder how a 74-year-old mustered the strength to drive the car for 15 kilometers with the wounds he had. He realized his son was dead, thought his wife might be, and was himself fighting for his life. Not having any idea where he was, uncertain what to do other than keep the car going, get out of the area and avoid an accident, he did an amazing job."

Magen David Adom medics who arrived on the scene found the two women lying on the road, and the two men caught inside the vehicle. They thought at first it was a car accident - until they saw the victims' bullet wounds. Some 30 spent shell casings were in fact later found at the site of the shooting.

The widow, Michal, was released from Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital last night. Tzvi's father Gene Goldstein, 74, is in moderate condition, while his mother Lorraine, 73, remains in serious condition.

Hamas has taken responsibility for the murder, but the security sources are skeptical about this announcement, as Hamas has barely ever been involved in shooting attacks in Binyamin. They feel that Hamas simply wanted to "boast" that it had quickly avenged Israel's recent actions against Hamas. It is more likely, Israel feels, that Fatah - of Arafat and Abu Mazen - perpetrated the murder.

The general site of the shooting has seen 19 terrorist murders in the course of the 33-month-old Oslo/Road Map War. Binyamin Region Security Coordinator Avigdor Schatz told Arutz-7 today that a road between Arab villages crosses under Highway 60 just north of Ofrah, "and it's very easy for the terrorists to wait, shoot, and escape into a waiting car." He said that the security forces have tried to deal with the problem, but without total success: "An IDF position had been there for a while, but was finally removed because of financial constraints. Later, a reinforced structure was stationed on the northern side of the hill - we're going back 50 years, to the time of pillboxes - but the southern side was still not covered, and the terrorists took advantage." Schatz said that the army is working very hard, "and they themselves would like to do more, but they're acting with one hand and leg tied behind their back."