Funeral held for Aiia Maasarwe in Israel

Aiia Maasarwe's death prompted an outpouring of grief across Melbourne.
Aiia Maasarwe's death prompted an outpouring of grief across Melbourne.

The funeral of international student Aiia Maasarwe, who was murdered in Melbourne last week, has taken place in Israel.

One week after she was killed after getting off a tram near La Trobe University at Bundoora, the 21-year-old was buried in her hometown of Baka al-Gharbiyye, an hour north of Tel Aviv.

After arriving from Australia, her coffin was transported to the local mosque, where prayers were held for her.

Cars jammed the streets, many displaying black flags. A sign outside the mosque read "Violence is the language of filthy ones" in Arabic.

After prayers, Maasarwe's coffin was carried out by close family members draped in silver cloth and lowered into the ground just after 11am local time.

Relatives, including her father Saeed Maasarwe, had boarded a flight out of Melbourne on Tuesday.

As she made her final journey home, a small vigil was held near where she was murdered, with plans to plant a memorial tree and unveil a plaque at the site.

Ms Maasarwe's death is the second time in seven months that a young woman had been killed on her way home at night in Melbourne, sparking outrage among the community.

One pizza parlour in Coburg North has offered to be a "safe haven" if women believe they are in danger, saying anyone who feels in danger, is being followed or attacked, can enter the store and tell staff who will notify police.

"If anybody feels unsafe, they are more than welcome to stay inside until they are at ease and feel comfortable in going back out," Newlands Pizza said in a Facebook post that has been shared over 1000 times.

The store's owner Faouzi Daghistani says he came up with the idea following Ms Maasarwe's murder.

"After all the news came out last Friday, a lady came in here. She sat in here for about 90 minutes. I just got the sense something was not quite right. She kept looking outside.

"I realised maybe there was a situation happening that she didn't want to talk about. She was afraid. She wanted somewhere safe to go into.

"That's the reason I decided to put the post up, to let people in this area know if you are feel unsafe, if you feel insecure or there is danger out there feel free to come inside and let us know about it."

Codey Herrmann, 20, has been charged with Ms Maasarwe's rape and murder.

Australian Associated Press