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Emotional appeal by shootings widow

The woman whose rabbi husband and two children were shot dead outside a Jewish school in France this week has issued an emotional online plea in the memory of her loved ones.

In a letter published on the website of the Orthodox Jewish Chabad movement, Eva Sandler wrote that the "spirit of the Jewish people can never be extinguished".

She urged all Jewish parents to honour her dead family members by loving their children and teaching them to love "their fellow man".

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and the couple's sons, five-year-old Arieh and three-year-old Gabriel, were killed outside their school in Toulouse by a man on a motorcycle.

The three were buried in Jerusalem on Wednesday, along with eight-year-old Myriam Monsenego, the daughter of the principal of Ozar Hatorah Jewish school, who was also killed in the shooting.

During the burial ceremony, hundreds of sobbing mourners thronged around the bodies laid out on stretchers as eulogies were delivered. Among the mourners were grieving relatives who arrived from France, French foreign minister Alain Juppe and leaders of the French Jewish community.

The suspected killer, Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, was killed after police raided the Toulouse apartment where he had been holed up for 32 hours in a stand-off with authorities.

"May no-one ever have to endure such pain and suffering," Mrs Sandler wrote. "I thank the Almighty for the privilege, short though it was, of raising my children together with my husband. Now the Almighty wants them back with Him."

Mrs Sandler has one surviving child, a toddler daughter called Liora, and Israeli media have reported that she is pregnant.

"Parents, please kiss your children. Tell them how much you love them, and how dear it is to your heart that they be living examples of our Torah, imbued with the fear of Heaven and with love of their fellow man," Mrs Sandler wrote.

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