June 16, 2024

Two British-Israeli sisters, Maia and Rina Dee, aged 20 and 15, were killed in the occupied West Bank on Friday when they were shot by suspected Palestinian gunmen. The sisters were travelling with their mother, Leah, who is in a critical condition following surgery. Rabbi Leo Dee, the father of the girls, mourned their deaths at their funeral on Sunday, embracing their bodies while mourners sang songs of grief. He described the family as “simple, quiet” and “devastated”, and questioned how he would explain to the girls’ mother what had happened to their “two precious gifts”. The attack came amid soaring Israeli-Palestinian tensions and violence.

The sisters were shot as they drove from their home in the settlement of Efrat to Tiberias, and the car carrying the girls and their mother crashed after coming under fire. They were then fired on again at close range. Israeli media reported that 22 bullet casings were found, apparently from a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Israeli military personnel blocked roads in the area and said they had “started a pursuit of the terrorists” responsible. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a terror attack and sent his condolences to the family in a tweet naming the sisters on Saturday.

Rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury, a close friend of Rabbi Dee, said the father and his three remaining children would “get through this”, adding that the family felt “supported and embraced by a blanket of warmth and love” from within Israel and from people across the world who had contacted them. The UK’s chief rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, said “no words can describe the depth of our…despair” at the girls’ deaths.

Source: BBC

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