The funerals of the two young men from Kiryat Arba who were murdered by terrorists on Friday was held Saturday night, accompanied by thousands.

The funeral procession of David Rubin and Achikam Amichai left their homes at 7:30 P.M, and made its way north to Jerusalem along the Gush Etzion Tunnels Highway.  The joint funeral at Mt. Herzl was held at 10 P.M.

Achikam was the son of Rabbi Yehuda Amichai, the head of the Torah and Land Institute, originally founded in Gush Katif, and the grandson of the late Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neria.  David and Achikam were murdered as they were hiking with a friend in Nahal Telem, west of Hevron.

The three hikers set out on a trail in the Telem riverbed, northwest of Hevron. They were approached by terrorists in an SUV who apparently had been tipped off as to their presence on the secluded trail.  In fact, just minutes before, one of the victims pointed at some Arab shepherds and joked, "They're probably going to tell some terrorists that we're here."

David Rubin

The terrorists said hello to their intended victims, and then, from the car's back window, three shots were fired.  One of them hit Amikam, but between the two young men, both of whom were on leave from their elite IDF units, they managed to return fire and kill one of the terrorists. Another one was wounded, and though the terrorists evacuated him from the scene, he later died of his wounds. IDF sources said the two soldiers "fought to their last drop of blood."

The 20-year-old girl who was with the two managed to run and hide, and called the emergency services. Bad cell phone reception delayed the process of locating the attack victims, though it was noted that she remained calm and in control throughout. She tried to guide the army and eme

The terrorists said hello to their intended victims, and at a certain point opened fire on them.

rgency crews to the scene, and even noted that she heard the sounds of Arabs taking a body into their car.  When the emergency crews finally arrived, they discovered a gruesome scene: The two dead Jews, and near them the body of one Arab terrorist. The terrorists took the assault rifles of the Jewish soldiers.

Fayad: We Are 'Pained' By Killing of Soldiers

Salam Fayad, Prime Minister and Finance Minister of the Palestinian Authority in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, said Saturday evening that he shares the pain over the killing of the two Israeli soldiers near Hevron. "We feel pain over the death of the two soldiers. Every death is unnecessary," Fayad said at an economic conference being held at a hotel in Herzliya.

Fayad said the PA arrested suspects in the matter and asked to convey his condolences to the bereaved families. "These are not just words here, but also deeds," Fayad said. "We are working in cooperation with the Israeli security services and we will see this matter to its end."

Many in Israel do not view it that way.  They remember the murder just last month of Ido Zoldan by PA policemen, the incitement against Israel in PA media, and the refusal of the PA to act resolutely to end terrorism from within its midst.

'Only Force'

The Yesha Rabbis Council reacted to the murderous attack near Hevron saying: "Any intention and plan to give up parts of the Land of Israel is understood as weakness and surrender, and leads directly to the murder of Jews. The Arab enemy understands only force, power and resoluteness. A Jewish government needs to evict its enemies from within it and settle Jews in their stead."

The newly-formed Hatikva party responded to the murderous attack as follows: "The victims of Annapolis who were gunned down today in Har Hevron died as a direct result of the terrorists' daring, which increases the more Olmert and Livni court the chairman of the Palestinian Terror Authority, Abu Mazen."

The Almagor terror victims organization sent a message to the Israeli cabinet following the attack,

MK Ariel: the murders were "additional proof of how the Arab terror raises its head the moment it recognizes weakness."

asking to return the roadblocks it removed from Judea and Samaria's roads "instead of discussing relaxation of the criteria for releasing terrorists."

Besides the pressing need to replace the roadblocks, Almagor said, such a move "would convey a proper message to the terror groups in the wake of the murder."

MK Uri Ariel (NU/NRP) said the double murder was "additional proof of how the Arab terror raises its head the moment it recognizes weakness and willingness to compromise [on the Israeli side]. The Prime Minister's announcements about releasing terrorists, freezing construction and supervision of tenders in Jerusalem give terror a boost."

Click here to read an account of the funeral and here for a photo essay.