SPECIAL JERUSALEM REPORT June 16, 2003 16 Sivan 5763

Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, the one that remains faithful. The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. Isaiah 26:2-4


The State Department announced last night that a cousin of U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, was among the 17 people murdered in the Jerusalem bus bombing last Thursday. Anna Orgal, 55, was buried Thursday at a cemetery outside Tel Aviv, and Kurtzer attended the funeral, the Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported. The U.S. Embassy confirmed that Kurtzer's cousin was killed in the Jerusalem attack, but their statement gave no name.

"The ambassador deeply appreciates the expressions of sympathy he has received. In deference to the privacy of the grieving family in Israel, we will not be commenting further," the Embassy said in a statement read by Brooke Summers, a State Department spokeswoman in Washington. Kurtzer, an observant Jew, became ambassador in Israel in July 2001 after serving as ambassador in Egypt.

Orgal, daughter of Holocaust survivors, was related to Kurtzer through his mother, who was a cousin of Orgal's father, the paper reported. Kurtzer was in close touch with the family, the daily said. After the funeral, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with Kurtzer to offer his condolences, the paper said, describing the meeting as emotional. Israeli officials refused to comment.