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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Liam James

Thousands attend funeral of mother of British-Israeli sisters after all killed in West Bank shooting

Family handout

Thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral of a British-Israeli woman who died three days after a West Bank shooting which also killed two of her daughters.

Israelis holding national flags lined the roads leading to the funeral of Lucy Dee in Kfar Etzion on Tuesday, while Rishi Sunak condemned as “abhorrent” the attack which took her life.

Ms Dee, 48, died on Monday from injures suffered on Friday. Her daughters Rina, 15, and Maia, 20, died hours after the suspected Palestinian attack. They were among several people killed during a recent period of escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Rabbi Dee (2nd from right) mourns the death of his wife Lucy with their children (Reuters)
Friends and relatives mourn at her funeral in Kfar Etzion (Reuters)

Tuesday also saw the Israeli military shoot and kill two Palestinians who allegedly opened fire at troops from a car in the northern West Bank.

At Ms Dee’s funeral in the Israeli-occupied West Bank south of Jerusalem, her widow, Rabbi Leo Dee, said his daughters were killed by 20 bullets from a Kalashnikov rifle and his wife was shot twice.

Rabbi Dee, who was accompanied by his three remaining children, said: “Lucy, I have a choice: I could lament over the next 25 years of marriage that I’ve lost, but I actually feel blessed to have had 25 years of a beautiful marriage with you.”

He added: “If we support the good and reject the evil, then we can all play our part in building a better world.”

Lucy Dee died the day after her daughters’ funeral ( Family handout)
Maia and Rina Dee were both killed in the shooting (PA Media)

Rabbi Dee was formerly the senior rabbi at Radlett United Synagogue in Hertfordshire and assistant rabbi in Hendon, north London. The sisters were born in London and the family moved to Israel in 2014, according to The Telegraph.

The British prime minister marked the deaths of the girls and their mother, saying: “The killing of British-Israeli citizens, Maia, Rina and Lucy Dee is abhorrent.

“The UK condemns this appalling attack on civilians and I send my deepest condolences to Rabbi Dee and his family.

Mr Sunak added: “We continue to urge all sides to de-escalate tensions in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and end the deadly cycle of violence.”

The two men killed by Israeli forces were identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as Saud Abdullah Saud and Mohammed Abu Dira. Their ages were not provided.

Israel’s military said the men shot at an Israeli outpost near the settlement of Elon Moreh, south of the Palestinian city of Nablus. Israeli soldiers on patrol opened fire, killing the two alleged gunmen in the West Bank village of Deir al Hatab.

Israeli soldiers take position in the area where two Palestinian militants were killed, near the settlement of Elon Moreh near the west bank city of Nablus (EPA)

So far this year, 94 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank, according to a tally by The Associated Press, at least half of them affiliated with militant groups. During that time, 19 people were killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

The latest wave of violence, which escalated last week after an Israeli police raid on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque compound during Ramadan, has seen rockets launched at Israel from Lebanon and Syria, with responsibility for some of them being claimed by Palestinian groups. Israel responded with rocket attacks on its neighbouring countries.

In the face of mounting deaths, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Jewish people would not be allowed into Al-Aqsa, a site holy in Islam and Judaism, until the end of Ramadan next week.

The rare convergence of the Jewish Passover festival and Ramadan brought scores of religious Jews to the site last week and fueled tensions that spiraled into the ongoing unrest.

Tel Aviv has previously banned Jewish visitors from Al-Aqsa in the last 10 days of Ramadan, when many Muslim worshippers pray overnight, but Mr Netanyahu’s move has nonetheless irked some of the religious hardliners in his coalition government.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the far-right state security minister, denounced the move, saying: “When terrorism strikes us we must strike back with great force, not surrender to its whims.”

With the country battling threats on multiple fronts, Mr Netanyahu on Monday reversed his decision to fire his defence minister, Yoav Gallant, who had last month expressed opposition to the government’s divisive plans to weaken the judiciary. Mr Gallant praised the Israeli military’s killing of the Palestinian gunmen on Tuesday.

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