A Montreal family is devastated by the death of a newborn relative, following a terrorist attack in the West Bank on Dec. 9, in which seven people were shot.
Amichai Ish-Ran, 21, a dual Israeli-Canadian citizen, and his pregnant wife Shira were among seven people who were wounded when a gunman in a passing vehicle opened fire near the Israeli settlement of Ofra, north of Jerusalem. Hamas hailed the crime as an act of resistance against Israel.
The baby, Amiad Yisrael Ish-Ran, died on Dec. 12, after being delivered prematurely by an emergency C-section.
Amichai Ish-Ran is the son of former Montrealer Galila Ish-Ran, a Hebrew Academy graduate who made aliyah about 35 years ago. He is the grandchild of Adele Charness and nephew of Jordan, Cindy and Randy Charness, all of whom live in Montreal.
Shira Ish-Ran, also 21, was critically wounded in the drive-by shooting, in which she sustained wounds to her abdomen, but her condition improved rapidly after undergoing surgery and emerging from an induced coma.
Amichai Ish-Ran, who was hit in the leg by three bullets, was also doing well after surgery. Both are being treated in Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, where doctors worked for 72 hours to try to save the life of the baby. Shira Ish-Ran was in the 30th week of her pregnancy.
The parents reportedly were able to hold their son before he died. He was buried on the Mount of Olives late on Dec. 12. The funeral was said to have been attended by thousands.
Randy Charness said that his mother plans to travel to Israel next week.
“We are all devastated by the loss,” he said. “We are still praying for the recovery (of Amichai and Shira Ish-Ran). Although they are doing well, they still have a long road ahead of them, physically and emotionally.”
This was the young couple’s first child.
Charness said the family is consoled by the widespread outpouring of sympathy and support. That includes statements from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
On Dec. 13, Israeli security forces shot and killed Saleh Barghouti, the son of a West Bank Hamas leader, who is suspected of participating in the attack. Four other Palestinian men alleged to have been involved in the attack were arrested on Dec. 12. Barghouti was reportedly shot after firing on Israeli troops, while trying to evade arrest.
Horrified by the shooting in the #WestBank in which eight people – including a Canadian and his wife – were injured. Canada condemns this attack on civilians and wishes all injured a swift recovery.
— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) December 12, 2018
“You always worry about something like this happening, but never expect it,” Jordan Charness said the day after the attack. “You feel totally helpless. Every time you receive a text message, you panic, yet you want to know every five seconds what’s happening.”
Charness said the couple lives about 20 km away and were visiting Shira Ish-Ran’s parents in Ofra.
Charness noted that Amichai Ish-Ran’s younger brother, who is in the army, was monitoring surveillance cameras in the area at the time of the attack. Charness said he saw the whole incident and called for emergency services right away, which may have saved the life of his sister-in-law.
Freeland tweeted before the baby’s death that she was “Horrified by the shooting in the West Bank, in which eight people – including a Canadian and his wife – were injured. Canada condemns this attack on civilians and wishes all injured a swift recovery.”
We condemn the violent attacks today in #Jerusalem and the #WestBank that have killed at least 2 people and injured several more, including civilians, Israeli police officers and IDF soldiers. Inhumane acts must be denounced by all. Violence is never the answer.
— Deborah Lyons (@lyonsinisrael) December 13, 2018
Scheer tweeted: “Absolutely gutted by the news that Amichai and Shira Ish-Ran’s baby boy has passed away after being born prematurely following a targeted and gutless terror attack in Ofra. Jill and I are praying for their family in Montreal and for Amichai and Shira’s full recovery.
“Conservatives unequivocally condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this vile terrorist attack as well as all acts of violent anti-Semitism. We must stand up to the cowards who target and attack innocent people simply for being Jewish.”
Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Deborah Lyons, also condemned the violence, tweeting: “Inhumane acts must be denounced by all. Violence is never the answer.”
Anthony Hinton, Canada’s deputy head of mission in Israel, called the baby’s passing “sad, terrible news.… We grieve with his parents, grandparents and all Israelis. The (Canadian Embassy) team remains in contact with the wounded Canadian and his family.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said the baby’s passing was tragic, while B’nai Brith Canada renewed its call for the United Nations to condemn Hamas as a “genocidal terrorist organization.”
“It is Hamas that continues to indiscriminately target Israeli civilians, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, in its ongoing crusade against justice and human rights,” B’nai Brith stated.