'I will give birth in mourning'

Monday, August 22, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

What should have been a day of joy for Lilach Shushan - the birth of her third child - will instead be a day of tremendous emotional upheaval.

Lilach, nine-months pregnant, buried her husband Yossi Shushan on Sunday. He was the one fatality resulting from a barrage of 100 Palestinian missiles on southern Israel over the weekend.

A tear-drenched Lilach was forced to attend the funeral of her beloved husband on a stretcher for fear she would go into labor.

"His family was everything to him," Lilach told Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. "He was such a wonderful father, always putting the joy of his children before his own desires."

And by all accounts, Yossi couldn't wait to extend his family.

"He was waiting with bated breath for the birth of his first son. It was all he spoke about," said Lilach. "Sadly, because of a few bastards he will never know his little boy."

Grasping for hope, Lilach said that she "still thinks that maybe this is just a bad dream, and [Yossi] will suddenly walk through the door."

Alas, he is not coming back. Yossi Shushan suffered fatal shrapnel wounds to the head as a GRAD missile fired from the Gaza Strip slammed into a highway in the southern Israel city of Beersheva on Saturday.

Indeed a man who cared for his family, Yossi was at the time rushing home to be with his pregnant wife and frightened children after hearing the air raid sirens sound.

Lilach was not alone in her day of tragedy and sorrow.

Further north in the central Israel town of Kfar Saba thousands of people attended the joint funerals of Moshe and Flora Gaz and Dov and Shula Karlinsky.

The two couples were killed in the three-pronged terrorist assault near Eilat late last week, which sparked the weekend missile barrage from Gaza.

Flora and Shula, who were sisters, and their husbands were driving together en route to a vacation in Eilat when an anti-tank missile hit their car. A terrorist gunman then approached and riddled their bodies with bullets to make sure the unarmed civilians were dead.

Israeli television showed images of the three Gaz children and the two Karlinsky children struggling to eulogize their parents through heavy sobbing.

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