Yuval Doron Kestelman
Yuval Doron KestelmanCourtesy of the family

Gila and Yoram Frija, parents of Aviad, the soldier who mistakenly shot and killed Yuval Kestelman, after he eliminated the terrorists in a Jerusalem shooting attack, sent a public letter of apology to Kestelman’s family.

Kestelman was killed after eliminating terrorists on 30 November 2023, after Aviad mistakenly took him for one of the terrorists.

"We express our sincere condolences. We would have preferred to express our feelings face to face, but we realize that it is still difficult for you to meet with us personally. It is important for us to convey our heartfelt feelings of sorrow to you, and therefore we are addressing you publicly at this time," the parents wrote.

They added: "We mourn and grieve the tragic death of Yuval, obm, who acted with ultimate bravery and courage when facing murderous terrorists. We have no doubt that Yuval took action based on the values ​​on which he was raised and educated. We learned a lot about Yuval obm from the media. Yuval is a hero, the best of the country; a source of pride to his family, his friends, and the entire nation of Israel. He sacrificed his life with utmost devotion and saved many other lives."

"Our entire family, especially our son Aviad and his wife Miriam, are in shock since that terrible attack and are grieving and agonizing over the death of Yuval obm. We are extremely sorry for the additional pain you have had to endure due to the conduct of the investigating authorities, and for the additional pain you had to experience due to the delayed autopsy. For the avoidance of doubt, neither us nor our son Aviad were involved in this matter in any way," Frija’s parents stated.

The parents also wrote, "Our son Aviad is mentally broken since the attack. He is a simple man, engaged in a simple working life, and he has a real desire to do good for others at all costs. He was on his way to Gaza, when he encountered a real life-threatening attack and rushed to the scene in real time, to save every person possible from those terrorists."

"It is important for him and for us to tell you that contrary to the manner in which he has been described in public media, all that motivated him to take action at the event was a sincere and genuine desire to stop the murderous carnage by the terrorists, even at the cost of risking his own life. Aviad is a normative and law-abiding person, and not as some have displayed him as having a political agenda. Just as Aviad volunteered for reserve duty and is fighting in the war in Gaza, his brother is also now serving in the IDF, after being drafted into the reserves on Israel's northern border, following the outbreak of the war."

"The investigation will continue until conclusions are reached but, in the meantime, we express that our Aviad has never hurt a fly, and he would never hurt another person except out of a sense of need and necessity. Our son Aviad might also have been killed in the attack while charging at the terrorists," they concluded.