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Oct 29, 2002 | 23rd of Heshvan, 5763 | כ״ג במרחשון תשס״ג
Oct 29, 2002 – Orna Eshel, 53, of Hermesh, was one of three people shot dead by a Palestinian terrorist who infiltrated the settlement north of Tulkarm in Samaria at about 10:30 p.m.
The terrorist first fired into the Eshel house, mortally wounding Orna and moderately wounding her husband, Yuval, before shooting Hadas Turgeman and her best friend, Linoy Saroussi, both 14, as they were chatting at the entrance to Linoy’s house. The attacker was killed by soldiers and local residents. A soldier and a resident were wounded in the assault.
Ornal Eshel had moved with her husband to Hermesh from Kibbutz Mabarot several years ago, but the couple returned to the kibbutz at the outbreak of the intifada.
They moved back to Hermesh in August, after the security situation had calmed down, Hachmon said, “but not wholeheartedly. Orna always said that she was afraid to come back here, as if she knew this were bound to happen and would be the end of her.”
He said the Eshels’ children had refused to visit them, saying it was too dangerous, and had finally made their first visit last Shabbat.
Yossi Ben-Shaul, a cousin of Orna’s, said that she was a much loved Hebrew teacher at the Ramot Hefer school. “She didn’t move to Hermesh for ideological reasons,” he said, “but because she and her husband were looking for a place where they could build a house for a reasonable price.” Orna wholeheartedly believed in peace, and engaged in many educational activities promoting Israeli-Arab coexistence.
Orna Eshel was buried in Kibbutz Mabarot.
She is survived by her husband, Yuval, two sons, and a daughter.
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