- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) Friends and relatives gathered yesterday to mourn the two persons killed in the July 4 shooting at the El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, which was condemned by some as an act of terrorism.
The FBI says it still doesn't know why Egyptian national Hesham Mohammed Hadayet targeted the ticket area of Israel's national airline, where he gunned down Yaakov Aminov, 46, a jeweler, and Victoria Hen, 25, who worked behind the El Al counter.
Mr. Aminov's family eulogized him yesterday before flying his remains to Israel for burial today. He was remembered as a selfless man dedicated to family and Judaism.
"This morning we say our final shalom to Yaakov, a man who valued Jewish tradition beyond all else," Rabbi David Adatto told hundreds of mourners outside the storefront Orthodox synagogue that Mr. Aminov helped found in the San Fernando Valley.
"He was my best friend, a true soul mate," said Michael Shabtai, the friend Mr. Aminov had taken to the airport on the Fourth of July.
Miss Hen's burial was scheduled for later yesterday in Mission Hills, northwest of Los Angeles.
Many who gathered to grieve for Mr. Aminov a father of eight with another child on the way said they considered the killings an act of terrorism, though U.S. authorities have said nothing from their investigation indicated that.
"Yaakov Aminov died because he was a Jew, because a culture of hatred has been fostered," said Rabbi Aaron Tendler, one of the speakers.
Hadayet was the fourth person in line at the El Al counter Thursday when he opened fire, killing Mr. Aminov and Miss Hen and wounding three others, authorities said. He fired 10 or 11 bullets before he was killed by an El Al security guard.
Arab Americans in the Los Angeles area have publicly condemned the killings as a crime. The Web site of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee posted a statement denouncing the attack in the "strongest possible terms."
"We are horrified by what happened," said Sabiha Khan, a spokeswoman for the Council on American Islamic Relations in Anaheim. "We pray for the victims and their families because nobody should ever die like that."

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