The umbrella organization for Jewish groups in Paris – Le Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) –announced Sunday that the four Jewish victims of an attack on a kosher grocery store in Paris on Friday will tentatively be buried in Israel on the Mount of Olives on Tuesday. CRIF Director Robert Eines is coordinating the transfer of the bodies to Israel.
The victims – Yohan Cohen, 22; Yoav Hattab, 21; Phillipe Braham, 45, and Francois-Michel Saada, 55 – were killed when Islamic terrorist Amedy Coulibaly entered the store wielding guns and a knife. This attack took place only a day after Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death in the south of Paris. Later, police were able to make a connection between Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers, who committed a massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters on Wednesday.
Funerals Tentatively Scheduled for Tuesday
The funerals are tentatively scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 13. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Minister Limor Livnat to coordinate the procedure, according to a government press announcement. A meeting on the preparations will be held Sunday evening at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Yohan Cohen, the only employee of the store to be killed, was murdered early on in the attack and is said to have saved a three-year-old by fighting one of the terrorists. The other three victims were shopping in the store in preparation for the upcoming Sabbath.
Cohen had been working at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket for about a year. His cousin Yonatan told reporters: “The police told the family that the terrorist had threatened to kill a three-year-old boy, and Yohan tried to stop it. He managed to grab the terrorist’s weapon, but before Yohan had a chance to shoot him, the terrorist put a bullet in his head and killed him on the spot.”
Yoav Hattab, son of the Chief Rabbi of Tunis, had just returned to Paris, where he was doing post-graduate work in Marketing and International Trade. Yoav had just returned to Paris two days earlier, after participating in a Taglit-Birthright program in Israel.
Phillippe Braham, a father of four, was employed as an insurance agent. His workplace was near the supermarket, where he regularly shopped before the Sabbath.
Braham was a Torah-observant Jew who attended synagogue in Montrouge, a suburb of Paris. His brother is the rabbi of the synagogue in Pantin, another Paris suburb.
Braham is described as a proud Jew and a Zionist who dreamed of making Aliyah (immigrating to Israel). He loved Israel and had arranged for his eldest son to be buried there after his untimely death. He also buried his parents there. Because of his strong love for Israel, his family decided to bury him there as well.
Francois-Michel Saada, also born in Tunis, was a pension-fund manager and a father of two. Both of his children live in Israel. He is remembered by friends as a devoted husband and father.
May they rest in Peace. Condolences to their families for their loss. May the Happy memories bring you comfort during this time.