THEY had already started preparations for a family Passover. But the Coleman children will now enter the festival without their father, after he became the latest victim of Palestinian terrorism.
When Adiel Coleman was stabbed just after leaving work on Sunday, he became the third Israeli killed by terrorists in three days.
The murder of 32-year-old Coleman in Jerusalem took place just hours after the funerals of two soldiers, Ziv Daus and Netanel Kahalani, who were killed after a Palestinian man drove into a group of IDF conscripts in the West Bank last Friday.
Two other soldiers hurt in the ramming attack were still in hospital at press time.
“We will not allow terror to become an accepted norm,” promised President Reuven Rivlin, shortly after hearing of the deaths of Daus, 21, and Kahalani, 20.
He was soon eulogising again, declaring that for the Coleman family “the pain is unbearable” and decrying the “brutal and abhorrent stabbing terror attack”.
Coleman’s attacker, 28-year-old Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel, was shot dead at the scene, while Shin Bet has announced that the alleged perpetrator of the ramming attack, 26-year-old Ala Qabha, has confessed.
At the Coleman funeral there was lots of talk of his four children, all aged under ten, and his wife Ayelet.
Mourners sobbed as six young men, friends, relations, and a cemetery employee, picked up the stretcher and took Coleman to his grave.
His mother, Yael, had not been able to bring herself to enter his hospital room once her son was declared dead. “I wanted to remember him with his face perfect,” she said.
The name Adiel means “God’s ornament”, and his mother discussed this in her eulogy. “When we called you Adiel at birth, we called you a piece of jewellery,” she said.
“You are our jewel and we would like to see you more, the whole environment would like to enjoy more of your spark.”
Coleman had been going about his daily routine when he was attacked – finishing work at the City of David archaeological park where he helped with excavations, and making his way home.
Ze’ev Orenstein, a senior staffer at the City of David, talked to The AJN about the “anger and sadness” felt by colleagues there.
They heard about the attack on the news, but only later did it dawn on them that it was their long-time employee Coleman who was wounded, and shortly afterwards declared dead. “It’s a feeling of losing someone who is part of the family,” Orenstein said.
At the funerals of the ramming attack victims, parents spoke of their horror at having to bury their children.
“This is unnatural,” said the father of Daus. Kahalani ‘s father Danny said he couldn’t fully absorb his loss.
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat was in defiant mood. He declared “Yesterday, they succeeded in harming Adiel.
“The sorrow is deep and difficult, but they’ll never succeed in removing us from our path. We in Jerusalem are determined not to change our daily routines and to continue to build in Jerusalem and in the Land of Israel.”
The killing of Daus and Kahalani prompted Israel to up its ante against Palestinian politicians.
Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he would try to introduce the death penalty for last Friday’s killer – and claimed that the Palestinian Authority has blood on its hands.
“There is no such thing as individual terrorism,” Lieberman said. “This terrorism is supported by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which provides money to the families of terrorists.”
After the Jerusalem killing, the anger against the PA started to attract international support. “Such brutality and no condemnation from the PA!” wrote America’s ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Twitter. “I pray for the families and the wounded – so much sadness.”
Meanwhile, internal tensions in Palestinian politics are spiralling. The PA’s Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, was targeted by an explosion last week when he was visiting the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.
It seems to have been an assassination attempt, and despite denials, the PA has become more and more convinced that it was the work of Hamas.
“We do not want them to investigate, we do not want information from them, we do not want anything from them because we know exactly that they, the Hamas movement, were the ones who committed this incident,” said Abbas on Monday.
He is threatening as-yet unspecified measures against the Hamas regime in Gaza.
“I have decided to take national, legal and financial measures to protect out national project,” he said.
“We never thought of punishing any Palestinian citizen, not in the West Bank or Gaza. But we have to say where the wrong is and where the crime is. This situation is not acceptable.”