A busload of ultra-Orthodox residents from Bnei Brak, the city in which the last week’s shooting massacre took place, traveled to Israel’s north to pay their respects at the funeral of an Israeli Christian Arab police officer who was killed while taking down the Palestinian terrorist.
Sgt. Amir Khoury is credited with saving countless lives after he rushed to the scene of the shooting and opened fire at the Palestinian gunman, Diaa Hamarsheh, killing him. Khoury was shot in the exchange and died shortly after.
Khoury and his partner, motorcycle police officers stationed in Bnei Brak, were the first to reach the terrorist after he gunned down four people in two locations.
According to Yeshiva World News, Khoury once saved an ultra-Orthodox man from drowning.
Israeli police officers carry the coffin of Israeli Arab policeman Amir Khoury, 32, one of the five people killed in a shooting attack in the religious town of Bnei Brak, during his funeral in Nazareth on March 31, 2022. (JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty)
Thousands of people from all over the country traveled to the funeral which took place at the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth.
The ultra-Orthodox Israelis from Bnei Brak joined later when the procession reached his final resting place in his hometown of Nof Hagalil.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called Khoury, who is from an Arab Catholic family, a “hero of Israel.”
שנפל בפיגוע בבני ברק כשהסתער קדימה והציל חיי אחרים,
מובא כעת למנוחות.
יהי זכרו ברוך. pic.twitter.com/2KpUK3bufd
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) March 31, 2022
Khoury, 32, was eulogized as a “lion” by his girlfriend of seven years, Shani Yashar. “Love of my life, my heart’s love, my heart. You are a true hero, courageous, a lion like the tattoo on your body. You loved lions. To enter the fire without fear in the eyes,” she said. “I was always proud of you, you are my Amir, my officer. Now you are everyone’s Amir. All the people of Israel thank you. I thank you.”
“You pledged you would never leave me, that we would marry and have children,” Yashar continued. “I wanted children who were beautiful like you. You promised that nothing would separate us. We overcame every obstacle, but this time we did not overcome, terror overcame us. We said that we are a power together. You promised to take care of yourself, but I knew you would be the first to leap into the fire and defend [others].”
Israeli police officers mourn during the funeral of Israeli police officer Amir Khoury on March 31, 2022 in Nazareth, Israel. (Amir Levy/Getty)
Khoury’s father Jiris eulogized his son, saying, “On Tuesday morning, you left me with an embrace and told me that you would be home on Friday. You returned a day early, in a coffin. I’m sorry that I am separated from you. Children bury their parents, and here everything has turned upside down. My beloved son, I love you. If you had known how many people from across the country called, came to mourn, from Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem, Rehovot… They said they felt an obligation to come embrace you.”
Omer Bar-Lev, Israel’s Minister of Public Security, said Khoury displayed a “rare act of courageousness.”