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January 16, 2015  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Paris victims buried in Israel

Who they were: A store worker, Zionist, rabbi’s son and a retiree


Thousands attended the funeral in Jerusalem for the four victims of the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris. (L-R) : Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, and Francois-Michel Saada. During the service, attended by both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel President Reuven Rivlin, a French government minister bestowed the Order of the Legion of Honor, the country’s highest civilian honor, on each victim. Thousands attended the funeral in Jerusalem for the four victims of the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris. (L-R) : Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, and Francois-Michel Saada. During the service, attended by both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel President Reuven Rivlin, a French government minister bestowed the Order of the Legion of Honor, the country’s highest civilian honor, on each victim. The following are profiles of the four Jewish men slain in the attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris on Jan. 9:

Yohan Cohen

Yohan Cohen, 22, an employee at the kosher market, died early in the attack on the store, trying to save the life of a child, according to reports.

“The police told the family the terrorist threatened to kill a 3-year-old boy, and Yohan tried to stop it. He managed to grab the terrorist’s weapon but before Yohan had a chance to shoot him, the terrorist put a bullet in his head and killed him on the spot,” his cousin Yonatan told the news agency Ynet.

The cousin also said Cohen, was a student taking economics courses and had hopes of working in a bank.

Cohen had been working at Hyper Cacher for about a year and lived in a Paris suburb with his mother. His parents came to France from North Africa in the 1960s. He had visited Israel often and a month ago his maternal grandfather, famous Jewish-Tunisian singer Doukha (Mordechai Haddad), was buried in Netanya. He had two brothers and a sister and was a fan of rap music.

He was friends with a Muslim who worked at the kosher market and is credited with hiding six customers from the hostage taker.

Yoav Hattab

Yoav Hattab, 21, was also credited with trying to save the hostages. He was killed by terrorist Amedy Coulibaly after Hattab tried to end the kosher market attack, The Jerusalem Post reported. Hattab reportedly snatched a gun Coulibaly had left unguarded and tried to kill the terrorist, but the gun failed to go off and Coulibaly then shot Hattab, according to The Post.

A native of Tunisia, Hattab had finished high school there before moving to Paris to earn a degree in marketing. He is the son of Rabbi Benjamin Hattab, a school headmaster and the chief rabbi in Tunisia.

Hattab had two days earlier returned from a visit to Israel as part of the Taglit-Birthright program, a relative of Hattab told Ynet. He was in the store buying wine for Shabbat, according to his father.

The JTA news service reported that in reaction to the kosher market slayings, David Hattab, Yoav’s cousin, wrote on Facebook: “You were my brother, even though we did not have the same mother. We grew up together. I miss you terribly and I can’t believe it. I love you, my brother, your name is etched in my heart, I will never ever forget you.”

Philippe Braham

Philippe Braham, 45, was the brother of a rabbi of a synagogue in a Paris suburb. He had four children, one by his first wife and three from his second marriage to Valerie. Brahan’s brother-in-law Shai Ben-David told the Ynet news agency that when the oldest son of Valerie and Braham died three years ago, Valerie “survived only thanks to his [Braham’s] strength.”

Braham was a computer engineer and recently worked as an insurance agent near the supermarket. He went shopping there before Shabbat when the attack occurred.

“He was a man who always wore a kippah, a Zionist whose dream was to make aliyah and he never made it. Every time he used to tell me, ‘God willing we’ll come, we’ll make aliyah soon,’” Ben-David told Ynet, adding, “He loved Israel. He buried his parents and son here. He was an observant man who never harmed anyone. He visited Israel many times, the last time was several months ago to bury his mother.”

Neighbors described Braham as a quiet and polite man.

Francois-Michel Saada

Francois-Michel Saada, 64, was a retired senior executive pension fund manager who lived in Paris and was shopping for Shabbat at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket when he was killed.

Saada, who was born is Tunis, had been married for more than 30 years to Laureborn Sadda – one report stated she was a teacher and another described her as a psychomotor therapist. Their two children live in Israel.

At his funeral, his son Yonatan said his father put his wife, family and friends ahead of himself.

Yonatan also said his father was patient in resolving any family conflicts and said that being killed because he was a Jew was kiddush Hashem – a sanctification of God’s name.

He said his parents had planned to make aliyah to Israel in June. Information from news sources Ynet, JTA, CNN, USA Today, AP, The Jerusalem Post and Arutz Sheva was used to compile these profiles.


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