JERUSALEM (JTA) –Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Israeli Border Police officer Hadas Malka, who was stabbed to death in Jerusalem by a Palestinian terrorist.
The funeral at a military cemetery in Ashdod began just after midnight Sunday, about 24 hours after she died of her wounds sustained during the Friday night attack near the Damascus Gate in the Old City.
Malka, 23, was killed as she responded to a Palestinian shooting attack at the nearby Zedekiah’s Cave. Israeli forces killed her two assailants and the one in the cave incident.
Malka reportedly worked to free her weapon while fighting off her attacker.
“You cared for everyone, always lent a helping hand; your joy for life swept everyone away,” Police Chief Roni Alsheich said at the funeral as part of his eulogy, The Times of Israel reported. “You loved everyone. You stayed away from gossip and speaking ill of others. You were a fighter who loved people.”
Malka is survived by her parents and five siblings.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condolences on behalf of the government and the nation to the Malka family at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
“Their grief is our grief; their sorrow is that of the entire nation,” he said. “Hadas was a young person full of life. She was imbued with a sense of mission of defending the State of Israel. Her commanders and those under her command loved her and trusted her.”
Netanyahu announced that in the wake of the attack, Palestinian visits to Israel that were approved for the Muslim observance of Ramadan were revoked and that security forces are preparing to demolish the homes of the attackers. He added that he instructed police to beef up security around the Damascus Gate.