Israel mourns Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi

Funerals of Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi to be held Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. in Karmiel and Ofakim respectively.

Cynthia Blank ,

Tel Aviv shooting
Tel Aviv shooting
Yoni Kempinski

The manhunt for Nashat Melhem continues Sunday, two days after he murdered Israelis Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi in a shooting attack at a pub in the heart of Tel Aviv. 

While Bakal, 26, and Ruimi, 30, did not know each other, they shared the same fate Friday afternoon when Melhem began to spray bullets at the Simta pub on Dizengoff Street.

Bakal was a manager at the pub, while Ruimi had come to celebrate the 31st birthday of his good friend, Ariel Nusbacher. 

Ruimi, Nusbacher and another friend arrived at Simta before their other friends. At some point, Nusbacher asked Ruimi to join him for a cigarette outside the pub; after a few minutes, the terrorist attacked. 

"We saw him several minutes before the shooting. He looked strange to us and we laughed about him but we didn't think he was a terrorist," Nusbacher told Channel 10.

Another friend, Yisrael Avitan, who was lightly wounded in the attack, recounted, "Shimi collapsed and there was a lot of shouting. I crawled into the restaurant and fled to the kitchen."

"He was a child filled with blessing and love, he always had words of affection," Ruimi's mother, Iris, said. "It's a hurt impossible to describe. It's too powerful," his aunt, Liat Tangi added. 

Bakal, who was also standing outside the pub when the terrorist began shooting, had just moved to Tel Aviv a few months earlier and was studying to become a lawyer. 

"There was no other boy who was as happy as he was," his father told reporters at the Ichilov Hospital on Friday, where Bakal was taken in critical condition before succumbing to his wounds. "Everywhere he went, his light was shining and he always made everyone laugh."

According to friend Itai Yirmiyahu, Bakal "had a kind of artistry in connecting to so many different people." In addition to managing the pub, Bakal was a volunteer at the humanitarian organization, Latet. 

In a Facebook post published last Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron), Bakal wrote: "Until next Memorial Day, may not one name be added to the list of heroes that is far too long."

Bakal and Ruimi's funeral will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday in their respective hometowns of Karmiel and Ofakim. 


 



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