The two female Border Police officers who accidentally shot dead Ofer Ben Ari while eliminating two terrorists during a stabbing attack in Jerusalem met for the first time with his family on Tuesday evening.
"I have no anger toward you," Ben Ari's widow, Yifat, told the officers. "You did exactly what you needed to do to save lives. You are like daughters to me."
"I want you to start on a new path and not look backward, only forward. What happened to you could have happened to my daughter or anyone else," Yifat added.
Recounting the attack near the Jaffa Gate, the two policewomen described seeing "two terrorists stabbing a citizen. We understood we had only a few seconds to act before [the terrorists] continued the murderous attack. We fired at the terrorists until they fell to the ground."
The emotional meeting was held at Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan's office in Jerusalem. Ben Ari's daughters Ofek and Gaya were also in attendance.
Erdan declared that Ofer, who was killed while trying to save the lives of innocent Israelis, is "a hero of Israel. He acted on behalf of values we believe in. We've lost someone very dear and noble."
"Despite the painful catastrophe, the Border Police officers who arrived at the scene exactly as was expected of them," Erdan stressed. "When I see these brave policewomen and these noble daughters and wife, I am filled with enormous pride for the people of Israel."