Three Israelis killed in Istanbul bombing were on culinary tour

The three Israelis killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul were in Turkey on a culinary tour organized by Beygale, an Israeli website for food lovers. 

One of them, Jonathan Shur from Tel Aviv, was in Istanbul to celebrate his 40th birthday. His wife was seriously wounded in the attack. 

The other two were Simha Damri, 60, from the southern Israeli desert town of Dimona, whose husband was moderately injured; and Avraham Goldman, 69, from a town north of Tel Aviv, whose wife was slightly injured. 

Following a brief ceremony and prayers by Israeli military officials at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, their coffins, wrapped in Israeli flags, were flown home in an Israel Air Force Hercules plane, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. 

Five wounded Israelis, including several listed in severe condition, were also on board, while five others landed in Tel Aviv earlier.

"I'm happy to be home," Pnina Greenfield told reporters from an ambulance after landing in Israel at dawn. She had a broken leg and shrapnel wounds. 

Greenfield said she was saved because she had walked a few steps away to take a group photo.

"If we hadn't run forward to take pictures ... Those who were harmed were those standing in the back. I was the furthest away from the terrorist."

She said some family members had expressed opposition to her flying to Turkey, which currently has tense relations with Israel and has witnessed numerous recent bomb attacks.  

"There were some fears in the beginning. My husband said, 'Maybe it's dangerous'. My mother. My son. We said, 'No, also Israel is dangerous'."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently condemned the bombing but said it was still not clear whether the Israeli group had been deliberately targeted.

"Terrorism is sowing death and destruction around the world. Israel is standing at the forefront of the struggle against world terrorism," he told his cabinet in Jerusalem on Sunday.

"Murdering innocent civilians has no justification anywhere - not in Istanbul, not in the Ivory Coast and not in Jerusalem."

Last update: Sun, 20/03/2016 - 12:40

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