Israel | Local

Tucson shlicha’s late father honored in Israeli ceremony

Mayor Rafael Ben-Sheetrit, left, and Rabbi Joseph Lasry unveil a sign that renames a Beit She’an street ‘Derech Hashisha’ or ‘Road of the Six.’ (Courtesy Oshrat Barel)

Oshrat Barel, who serves as director of the Weintraub Israel Center and Tucson’s community shlicha (Israeli emissary), visited her hometown of Beit She’an last month for a memorial ceremony marking 14 years since the murder of her father and five others in a terrorist attack on the Likud party branch office there.

The ceremony was held at the corner of Halamish Street, which was renamed Derech Hashisha or “Road of the Six,” honoring the six victims.

The ceremony took place on Dec. 22, the 22nd of Kislev (close to the Hebrew date of the terror attack) with the participation of the bereaved families, Mayor Rafael Ben-Sheetrit, Rabbi Joseph Lasry, residents, friends and people who cherish the victims’ memory, says Barel.

A plaque honors the six who were killed in a terrorist attack on Nov. 28, 20002 in Beit She'an. (Courtesy Oshrat Barel)
A plaque honors the six who were killed in a terrorist attack on Nov. 28, 20002 in Beit She’an.

At noon on Nov. 28, 2002, as primary elections were being held to select the Likud candidate for prime minister, when the Beit She’an branch office was full of people, two terrorists entered and began shooting in all directions, she explains. Her father, Ehud Avitan, was killed along with Motti Avraham, Shaul Zilberstein, Larry Jacob, Chaim Amar and David Peretz; dozens more were injured.

During the recent ceremony, new street signs were unveiled near a commemorative plaque placed in memory of the victims, “so no one will ever forget this evil murder in our city,” says Barel.

“My two brothers, sister and I use to walk to school and back on this street for many years, and naming the street as the Road of the Six is very symbolic to us, as this is the heritage each of the six victims left to their families. They are victims of terror but did not die as victims, but as heroes,” she says.