Shiri, debri eeti dachouf… chaim sheli, debri eeti – “Shiri, speak to me urgently… My love, speak to me”
Those were the frantic final Whatsapp messages sent to IDF Lt. Shir Hajaj by her mother, Meirav. They will forever remain unanswered, for Shir Hajaj was among the four young Israeli soldiers run down and killed by a Palestinian terrorist on Sunday.
Meirav Hajaj later said that when she first heard about the truck ramming attack at the Haas Promenade in Jerusalem, she feared that foreign tourists had been targeted.
She later realized that her daughter’s army unit had gone there for an educational outing.
Meirav frantically sent Whatsapp messages and called to make sure Shir was OK.
As the family prepared to bury Shir Hajaj on Monday, her mother described her as a “flower, a crown jewel.”
Her distraught father later told Israel’s Ynet news portal: “These are our children, we send them to the army knowing they may not come back. Did I ever think this would happen to me? Never.”
The other three soldiers killed in the attack were also named late Sunday night: Lt. Yael Yakutiel (20), 2nd Lt. Shira Tzur (20) and Cadet Erez Orbach (20).
All were honored with heart-wrenching messages from family and friends published by the Israeli media on Monday as the nation mourned. By the end of the day, all four would be buried.
Seventeen more young soldiers were wounded in the attack. Two of them remain in serious condition, fighting for their lives.
PHOTO: Compilation from Flash90 and IDF Handout Photos