“Where will we sit shiva”?
“Where will we live?”
“Who will be our adoptive parents?”;
These difficult and heart-rending questions were asked yesterday by the nine surviving Dickstein children who lost their parents and their nine-year-old brother on Friday in the lethal terror attack in the southern Hebron hills.
Yaakov and Hannah Dickstein, both teachers, were the parents of ten children. They moved eight months ago from Jerusalem to the settlement Psagot as part of their desire to contribute to the Jewish settlement enterprise in the territories. On Friday they were making their way to visit their friends at the settlement Maon, traveling with six of their children.
An investigation of the incident suggests that a terror cell composed of what appears to have been four terrorists positioned itself on the side of the road that connects Pnei Hever to the settlements Maon and Carmel. The position the gunmen selected is about two kilometers south of Zif intersection and 500 meters from the village Yatta, to which the terrorists fled. Elazar Leibovich was killed in the first car to pass the gunmen. Leibovich, who was driving the car, sustained mortal injuries from the gunfire, but he succeeded in driving a little further. He died within a short period of time from his injuries.
Immediately afterwards, the Dicksteins came down the road. One of the terrorists opened fire on the car, and the car pulled to a stop. Another terrorist who was hiding on the other side of the road came out of his hiding place and drew near the car. “The terrorist came up to us, looked us in the eye, and began to shoot,” one of the Dickstein girls told the detectives. Mr. Dickstein tried to get out of the car, and was shot dead. Hannah Dickstein and the nine-year-old Shuva-ell were murdered by the terrorist in front of the five other children. Adiel, a baby, sustained light injuries and was treated on the spot, and one of the boys, who is 12-years-old, sustained injuries to his back and arm from shrapnel. He was hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Karem in light to moderate condition.
Rescue workers, IDF troops, and police troops under the command of Samaria and Judea District Commander Shahar Ayalon. The physical evidence at the scene indicates that the terrorists fired 20 bullets before fleeing.
Tanzim took responsibility yesterday for the terror attack. Security officials said that their intelligence indicates that the terrorists are hiding out either in Yatta or in one of the caves in the vicinity. Yesterday the IDF swept Yatta and discovered illegal guns, knives, a large amount of ammunition and a home-made bomb in the Palestinian police station in the town.
“Yaakov and Hannah were optimistic people, with a lot of joy of life and light in their eyes,” said yesterday Hannah Diamant, a family friend. “They built their house in Psagot with all their heart and all their soul and despite all the difficulties.”
Yaakov, who was a teacher in the Netiv Meir yeshiva, was on sabbatical this year which he used to establish a higher education institution in Jerusalem. Hannah taught computers at a girl’s ulpana in Pisgat Zeev and at the Evelina de Rothschild school in Jerusalem.
All of the surviving nine Dickstein children spent the weekend in the hospital along with their injured brother. All nine, including the two-year-old Adiel, know that Mommy, Daddy and Shuva-el will not be coming home.
This article ran in Maariv on July 28th, 2002