'He treated everyone with love and respect' - fiancée of SA-born man killed in Jerusalem attack

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Eliyahu David Kay.
Eliyahu David Kay.
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  • South African-born Eliyahu Kay, 26, was killed during an attack by a Hamas gunman in Jerusalem.
  • Kay moved to Israel in 2019, where he completed his military training and then worked as a tour guide.
  • Kay has been described as caring and considerate by his fiancée.

South African-born tour guide Eliyahu David Kay, who was killed in an alleged terrorist attack in Israel, has been described as a gentle man who treated everyone with love and respect.

Kay, 26, was killed during an attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, in Jerusalem's Old City. He was a tour guide in Jerusalem. He was shot while on his way to pray and later died in Hadassah Hospital.

The Old City is in the Israeli-annexed eastern part of Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as the capital of their future state.

READ | South African man, 26, killed in Jerusalem by Hamas gunman

Kay moved to Israel in 2019. Before working at the Western Wall, he had completed his military service and volunteered in a Kibbutz Nirim, according to the Times of Israel.

Kay's brother Kasriel reportedly said he was the first of the family to move to Israel, saying he has served in the army as a combat soldier. His brothers had later joined him in Israel.

Kay is the first Israeli civilian killed by Palestinian violence since the 11-day conflict in the Gaza Strip in May.

Hamas has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

In an interview shared on social media, Kay's fiancée Jen Schiff said she "felt it was important to share how much Eli loved" Israel.

She said:

No matter what anyone might say or do, he always treated people with love and respect.

Schiff described Kay as caring and considerate, saying he was very loving and "accepting of anyone".

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, described the incident as a "despicable murder" that had left them "deeply pained".

"[Kay], a new immigrant from South Africa, worked as a guide at the Western Wall Plaza, warmly greeting everyone he met, doing his sacred work. We share in the deep sorrow of his family and friends. May his memory be a blessing," said Rabinowitz.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies expressed its condolences to Kay's parent, Avi and Devora Kay, his fiancé and his family and friends in Israel and South Africa. 

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