Sunday, October 29, 2023

UK-Israeli Mother Killed in West Bank Attack Passes Away


The Dee family has been struck by tragedy after a suspected Palestinian gun attack on Friday left two of their daughters dead and their mother, Lucy Dee, in a coma. On Monday morning, Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem announced that Lucy (also known by her Hebrew name, Leah) had passed away, despite the best efforts of medical staff.

The attack occurred as the family were driving in the Jordan Valley in the northern West Bank on their way to a family holiday. Israeli media reported that 22 bullet casings were found at the scene, apparently from a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Lucy, Rina and Maia were shot at close range, and their vehicle crashed as a result.

Rabbi Leo Dee, the father of the family, was further ahead in a separate car when he received news of the attack. He rushed to the scene and recognised one of their suitcases on the back seat of the car. Thousands of mourners attended the emotionally charged funeral of Rina and Maia in the settlement of Kfar Etzion, with their father and three surviving siblings present.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to the Dee family on Twitter, calling the attack a “severe terror attack”. Radlett United Synagogue in Hertfordshire, to which the Dees had belonged, said the community was “devastated at the terrible news”.

The Dee family had moved to Israel from the UK nine years ago, where Lucy’s husband had served as a rabbi. In his eulogy at the funeral, Rabbi Leo Dee asked: “How will I explain to Lucy what has happened to our two precious gifts, Maia and Rina, when she wakes up from her coma?”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a hunt for the perpetrators following the attack, which came at a time of spiralling tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. The Dee family’s tragedy has been felt by many around the world, who have been robbed of their presence but whose light will never be extinguished.

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