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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

EXCRUCIATING: Instead of a wedding, a father-daughter funeral

Two of the murdered in Jerusalem were David Appelbaum --head of Emergency at Shaarei Zedek Hospital and founder of Terem 24-hour Emergency Clinic - and his daughter, Nava, who was to be married today
A father and his daughter out together on the night before her wedding were among the seven killed and 57 wounded in a suicide bombing at a popular coffee shop in Jerusalem Tuesday night.

Dr. David Appelbaum, 50, and his daughter Nava, 20, were buried Wednesday at 10:00 in Jerusalem.

Hundreds of Israeli mourners gather around the body of Dr. David Applebaum, center, and his daughter Nava, both killed at Tuesday's night suicide bombing in Jerusalem, during their funeral in Jerusalem Wednesday Sept. 10, 2003 (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Applebaum, born in Detroit, raised and educated in Cleveland, was head of the emergency department in Shaarei Zedek Hospital and founder of the Terem 24-hour emergency clinic in Jerusalem.

As the Shaarei Zedek crew of nurses and doctors were treating the dozens of wounded at Cafe Hillel, they received word that the attack had killed one of the most senior and beloved doctors of their hospital.

Nava Applebaum, a volunteer with children suffering from cancer as part of her national youth service, was to be married Wednesday evening. She and her father were celebrating their last night together before the wedding.

Applebaum, well-trained in treating bombing victims after years working as a hospital emergency room director, was usually the first to report to the hospital after a bombing. There was no sign of him Tuesday night.

"It was clear to me from very early on that David Applebaum - when he didn't show up and I knew he was in Jerusalem and he hadn't called - that a terrible tragedy had occurred," said Shaarei Tzedek Hospital Director Yonatan Halevy. "Confirmation of my suspicions came shortly."

A paramedic on the scene recognized Applebaum, and notified the hospital. The nurses and doctors, shocked and grieved, kept on treating the stream of casualties.

"Thousands of Jerusalemites owe Dr. Applebaum their lives," said Halevy. "This is a terrible loss."

"Dad dedicated his life to saving others," Applebaum's eldest son Natan told the web site ynet. "Dear Nava should have been married today. They went out for a last night before the wedding to talk."

Hearing the news, the family arrived at the emergency room, which was like a second home to them. Nava's fiancee, Chanan Sand, 20, fainted upon hearing and had to receive medical attention.

At the funeral Chanan placed their wedding ring on her body as it was lowered to the grave.

Thousands, among them many of the wedding guests, attended the funeral.

Other victims identified at this time include:
Alon Mizrachi, 22, Jerusalem.

Alon was the guard on duty at Hillel coffe shop at the time of the attack. He attempted to bodily prevent the terrorist's entrance to the Caf .

His Brother-in-law, Avi Levi, said he "had a soul of a hero."Following his army service, as a mechanic in the IAF, Alon became a guard at Hillel coffee shop, where he had worked for the past three months. "He loved his job," Levi told ynet. "Alon always had a smile on his face. Even when things were hard, he always laughed He was everybody's friend."

Hearing the news, Alon's eight-year-old nephew wrote a letter to Prime Minister Sharon, saying: "I know we all want peace and I know that everyone close to somebody who has died in the attack wants revenge. Stop being the forgiving Nation."

Alon left behind him parents, three brothers and three sisters. He was buried Wednesday at 14:30, in Jerusalem.

Menashe Mizrahi, attending the funeral of his son Alon in Jerusalem, Wednesday Sept. 10, 2003. Alon Mizrahi. an Israeli security guard working in a coffee shop. died on Tuesday trying to stop a suicide bomber from blowing himself up. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen

Gila Moshe, 40, Jerusalem.

A mother of two, Gila was out with a friend on the night of the attack. Her worried son asked Gila to stay home, but "in a moment's decision she decided to go out and have fun," said her sister, Orna Ben Yishai.

Gila's relatives spoke of a woman who "loved her family so much."

" She was a devoted mother, full of life. She used to play with her children as if she were their own age," her sister said.

Gila left behind a husband and two sons. She will be buried Wednesday at 16:00, in Jerusalem.

Yechiel Emil Tubol, 52, from Jerusalem.

Yechiel owned a building business. "He had hands of gold," said his brother, Chaim.

"He was very hardworking, and was always looking after his family."

Alona Angle, an architect who worked with Yechiel, called her friend's death "terribly ironic. A man who built and worked with Arabs, to be killed like that. It's so easy to ruin, in a split second, everything this man spent a lifetime building. He was intelligent and gentle, a man of wisdom and honesty. Everybody trusted him."

Yechiel left behind a wife and three children.

David Shimon Avizadris, 51, from Mevaseret Zion.

David was the eldest of seven and, when his father died, took his siblings under his wing. "The entire family was dependant on him," said his brother, Eli.

On Tuesday night, David and his wife, Hadas, were sitting with friends in the caf . "He was such a friendly type," Eli said, "and in the caf he got up to say hello to some friends. At the moment of the explosion he happened to be standing between the terrorist and his wife, and she was miraculously saved."

David left behind a wife and three children.

The suicide bomber blew himself up Tuesday night at the entrance to the popular Cafe Hillel restaurant on Emek Refaim Road in the German Colony in southern Jerusalem.

According to police, there were two guards at the coffee shop, one at the entrance and one inside. Both guards noticed the suicide bomber and moved towards him. One witness said the guards definitely pushed the bomber outside the cafe, where he managed to shout Allah Akbar (God is great) before he exploded.

Jerusalem Police chief Mickey Levy said the guards prevented a much larger number of fatalities.

Hamas' military wing Izzadin Al Kassam welcomed the attack. The group's statement said Israelis could expect more attacks. Crowds in Gaza City celebrated the two attacks, with some handing out sweets.
Read a full story in the Jerusalem Post about the staff and family of David Applebaum in the wake of Tuesday's attack, and or a recent profile of Applebaum, detailing how he improved emergency health care in Israel.