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Tragedy Hits Har-Melekh Family

Shalom Har-Melech, murdered on Friday while driving in the western Jordan Valley, was buried last night. He leaves behind a young wife, a 1-year-old son, a newborn baby daughter whom he never met - and ideals left unfulfilled.
First Publish: 8/31/2003, 11:19 AM

Shalom Har-Melekh, 25, who was murdered on Friday morning as he was driving with his wife along the Alon Highway in the Jordan Valley, was buried last night in his childhood hometown of Kokhav HaShachar. The funeral began at 10:30 and ended after 2 AM, as speaker after speaker eulogized Shalom, the oldest of seven children. His pregnant wife Limor was wounded in the attack and is listed in moderate condition, after doctors delivered her baby by Caesarian section several hours after her husband was killed. The couple's other child, 1-year-old Ya'ir, was not in the car when it was attacked by several Arab terrorists.

Arutz-7's Kobi Sela met Shalom, known as Shuli, several times in the past few years, and described him as "a man of action, with many achievements." Very involved in matters having to do with the Land of Israel, Shuli was an army medic who was once stationed at Joseph's Tomb, and was sentenced to a week in prison by a commander he accused of accused of acting "with political motives" against the Shechem yeshiva students. Arutz-7 reported in March 2000,
"Shalom Har-Melekh, a soldier from Kokhav HaShachar who was sentenced to 35 days in military prison several days ago for talking against his commander, will be freed tomorrow. Following the publication of the story on Arutz-7, the soldier appealed, and was granted a re-trial by O.C. Central Command Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, who cut his sentence down to seven days. The original sentencing officer was the commander of the Shechem division, whom Har-Melekh accused of acting 'with political motives' against the Shechem yeshiva students."

Just over two years ago, two months after their wedding, Shuli and his wife decided to move to Chomesh. They were motivated by the fact that several non-religious families had moved out of the relatively isolated Shomron community and that it was beginning to collapse. He became the "absorption administrator" and tried to interest people in moving to the town wherever he met them. "We have to stop this drop in population from this area," he told Channel Ten television at the time, "and if we, the little Har-Melekh family, can do something to try to stop this trend, then that's what we'll do."

Shalom was about to assume a position as a teacher-rabbi in a yeshiva high school in Netanya. His mother asked him recently, "How will you be able to keep up all your responsibilities, traveling from here to there and back all the time?" Shuli's answer: "Life is short, we have to try to do whatever we can while we can."

His father, Moshe, said this morning, "Every time they went to Chomesh, we were a bit frightened - but he and Limor did what they believed was right. They always tried to do special things that they felt the Nation of Israel needed. And then it turned out that this attack occurred not far from our home... They were a very special couple, with a very strong love between them. Limor [his widow] asked that the funeral be pushed off until last night so that she could properly part from him; she came from her hospital bed and was one of the speakers..."