There has been a series of Islamist terrorist attacks in Israel over the past few weeks, including a shooting at a bar in Tel Aviv Thursday night that left three Israelis dead and at least 10 others wounded.
One of the deceased in that attack was 35-year-old Barak Lufan, a former Israeli Olympic athlete, who succumbed to his wounds Friday in a hospital, Israeli media outlet Haaretz reported.
Lufan had reportedly been at the bar targeted in the attack for a get-together with friends from Kibbutz Ginosar, where he had grown up before moving to a Tel Aviv suburb. He leaves behind a wife and their three children.
Former Olympic athlete turned coach killed in terrorist shooting
Lufan was a competitive kayaker who had represented Israel on the world stage and, according to the Jerusalem Post, had competed at the Olympic Games in both Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
Haaretz noted that Lufan had also won the bronze medal in the European championships for kayaking and had served as a trainer for Israel’s Paralympic athletes.
“It is a terrible morning, tragic,” Gili Lustig, executive director of the Israel Olympic Committee, said of Lufan’s death on Friday.
“We marked him out for coaching in the future,” he added. “He was the salt of the earth. A charming, handsome boy.”
Died Friday from wounds suffered in Thursday attack
The Times of Israel reported that in addition to serving as a coach and trainer of Israel’s Paralympic team, he was also the head coach of Israel’s national kayak team.
His family said in a statement: “Our beloved Barak, the grandson of the founders of Kibbutz Ginosar, an exemplary husband and father, an athlete with every fiber of his being, a member of the Olympic kayaking team staff, and an educator of the future generation in the field, has left us prematurely.”
Lufan had initially survived the terrorist attack on the Tel Aviv bar but had been taken to a hospital and listed in a “life-threatening” condition. The hospital announced Friday: “Barak was critically wounded in the murderous attack last night and despite the doctors’ efforts, he was pronounced dead.”
Suspected terrorist gunman caught and killed
The Times of Israel reported separately that Lufan was buried Sunday in a funeral service near his hometown overlooking the Sea of Galilee that was attended by his grief-stricken widow and children as well as other family and friends who mourned his untimely death.
For what it is worth, the Palestinian terrorist suspected of conducting the deadly attack on the bar in Tel Aviv, 28-year-old Ra’ad Hazem of Jenin, was shot dead by Israeli security forces Friday morning in the city of Jaffa following an hours-long manhunt that began immediately after the shooting Thursday night