Songs of Dovid Kerner

Zachor - Remember


June 28, 2004 - Afik Zahavi, z'l, four, and Mordechai Yosepov, z'l, 49, were killed at 8:15 a.m., when a Kassam rocket fired by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip struck near a nursery school in the northern Negev town of Sderot.

The boy's mother, Ruth, was taking him to the Lilach nursery school when the rocket hit, critically wounding her. Ten other Sderot residents were lightly hurt. These were the first fatalities in scores of Kassam attacks over the past three and a half years. Of four Kassams fired at Sderot that mornng, three hit harmlessly.

At Afik's funeral, his father, Yitzhak, prostrated himself on the small body and wept, "I love you Afik. I will see you everywhere. Look how many people are accompanying you." The boy's mother remained in intensive care in Beersheba's Soroka Hospital.

Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal eulogized the boy, saying: "What can I tell you, child? You have seen nothing, you don't know anything of war and peace. You are pure and clean. But my child, we have neighbors who are animals, murderers. We will not forget and not forgive."

Minister-without-Portfolio Natan Sharansky said in his euology: "You may have dreamed of being a hero, you may have dreamed of being a soldier. But here children, as in all the Israeli nation, become soldiers and the entire country turns into a front. You fell like a soldier. They say we don't want peace. That is not true. We want peace, but with whom? With those who send Kassams to murder our children? We will reach the murderers."


Roni Yihye, z'l, 47, was mortally wounded by a Kassam rocket in the parking lot of Sapir College  on Feb. 27, 2008. He died of his wounds shortly afterwards.  A second man was wounded in the attack.  

Roni Yihye was buried in the Moshav Bitcha cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Esther, and four children - Niv, who is currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces, Lital, a 17-year-old high school pupil, her 14-year-old sister Coral and 8-year-old brother Idan; as well as by 10 siblings.

Oshri Oz, z'l, 35, was killed on May 27, 2007, when a Kassam rocket slammed into the road near his car in Sderot. Oz was a father of two and his widow is in the advanced stages of pregnancy. Friends described him as an "amazing fellow, only good with no bad."   Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shir'el Feldman, z'l, 32, was murdered on May 22, 2007 in a Kassam rocket attack that scored a direct hit on her car as she stood next to it near a bakery in the center of town. Ms. Feldman was pronounced dead on arrival at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon after suffering severe injuries to her chest and stomach. Ms. Feldman was born in Sderot and is survived by her parents and two older brothers.

Fatima Slutzker, z'l, a Moslem woman married to a Russian Jew, was killed in November, 2006 by a Kassam that landed in downtown Sderot.

Moshe Shlomo, z'l, 52, died in July, 2006 of a heart attack he suffered after a Kassam rocket landed near his home a few days earlier.

Dana Gelkowitz, z'l, 22, was killed in a Kassam attack in July, 2005 at Netiv HaAsarah - the only non-Sderot Kassam casualty among Israelis.

Ayala-Haya (Ella) Abukasis, z'l, 17, of Sderot died on Jan 21, 2005, of wounds suffered on January 15 when a Qassam rocket landed near her and shrapnel penetrated her cerebellum, leaving her brain dead. Kept on life support throughout the week, her parents agreed to stop treatment when doctors told them there was no chance of recovery.
On Saturday afternoon (Jan 15), the Abukasis family was at Ella's grandmother's home. They were returning home when the siren sounded, giving them 20 seconds warning of an incoming Kassam rocket. They did not have time to take cover, so she shielded Tamir, who escaped with relatively minor wounds when the rocket fell and exploded alongside them, and she was fatally wounded.

Ella's father Yonatan said that she had acted like the guardian of her 10-year-old brother from the outset of the Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot. She accompanied him everywhere, slept alongside him, waited outside the bathroom for him and went with him to the computer on the second floor of the family's home.

Dorit Aniso, z'l, 2, and Yuval Abebeh, z'l, 4, cousins, were killed by a Kassam rocket attack on Sept. 29, 2004 while playing in the street, just before the onset of the Sukkot holiday. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mordechai Yosifov, z'l, 49, and Afik Zahavi, z'l, a 3.5 year old on his way to nursery, were killed in a June, 2004 Kassam rocket attack.

April, 2011 - Daniel Viflic, 16, of Bet Shemesh, died of mortal wounds suffered on April 7 when an anti-tank missile was fired, from Gaza, at a school bus in the Negev near Kibbutz Sa'ad.

Daniel was a student at the Heichal Hatorah Yeshiva near Bet Shemesh. He had been visiting his grandmother in Kibbutz Ruhama and went for a ride with her neighbor, Zion Yemini, the school bus driver. Just moments after it had dropped off the rest of the school children, the bus was hit by an anti-tank missile near Kibbutz Sa'ad. Daniel was mortally wounded by shrapnel that penetrated his brain, and was declared dead ten days later. The driver suffered moderate wounds to the leg.