Thursday, April 21, 2011

Two Arab Terrorists Confess to Fogel Massacre - without Regret

Israel National News
Article by by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Gil Ronen

Security forces arrested two residents of the village of Awarta near Itamar, who have confessed to murdering the Fogel family last month. They acted out of Arab nationalist motives and have not expressed regret for their crime.

The commander of the IDF in Samaria (Shomron) said in a video briefing, "The murderers are in our hands."

Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) lifted a gag order on the investigation of the massacre at noon Sunday (5 a.m. EDT). The terrorists were indentified as Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad 18, residents of Awarta, an Arab village neighboring the Jewish community of Itamar, where the Fogel family lived.

The teenage terrorists, who are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), were assisted by at least six others, four of them from Awad’s family.

The massacre of the Fogels took place at night on Friday night (Sabbath), March 11. The terrorists climbed over the fence surrounding Itamar, a Samaria community, and entered the Fogel family's home. They stabbed to death Rabbi Ehud (Udi) Fogel, his wife Ruth, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad and three-month-old Hadas.

The terrorists not only expressed no regret for the brutal stabbings of their parents, the baby, and two other young children, but they also said they would have killed two other children, Roi, 8, and Shai, 2 if they had known they were in another room. The sixth child, Tamar, was out of the house at the time of the murders and discovered the shocking scene when she returned home.

The terrorists told investigators that before entering the Fogel home, they went into an adjacent home, where the residents were away. The two teenagers stole weapons from the home and also took a gun from the Fogel family after the late Friday night slaughter of their victims.

Investigators said they were shocked by the impassionate confessions and description of the murders by the teenagers, one of whom said he has been prepared to become a “martyr.”

In an unusual decision, the family agreed to release graphic photographs of the aftermath of the murder, in order to explain Israel's situation in the face of Arab barbarism.

The Prime Minister’s Office was dismayed by the halfhearted and belated denouncements issued by the Palestinian Authority after the massacre, and blamed the PA's incitement of its populace for enabling the crime.

Following the massacre, the government approved the construction of 500 new housing units to be built in Maaleh Adumim, Ariel and Kiryat Sefer, adjacent to Modi’in. No new construction was approved in smaller communities, such as Itamar.

Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, the mourning father of Ruth Fogel, told an interviewer that the grandparents of the orphans will will take upon themselves the difficult task of raising them, in order to "pave for them the path so that life will be victorious."

Briefing by Commander of the Shomron Regional Brigade on Arrest of the F...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tamar Fogal with a Special Poster from US School Children

Tamar Fogal was very moved to receive so many letters of support from the different schools in the NY and NJ region.

Here's a picture of her holding up a poster made by a day school. For all those interested in helping the orphans, we are finally able offer ways to do this. We will post information about this on our "Ways to Bless Itamar" page.

Thank you for your patience as we allowed the family to mourn and decide on how they want your donations to be directed. 

Read Rabbi Goldsmith's letter summarizing the last 30 days on Itamar:

Dear Friends it has been slightly over a month now since the terrible nightmare that struck our community resulting in the slaughter of Harav Udi, Ruty, Yoav, Elad and Hadas HYD. It has been a very difficult time for all of us here on Itamar. The community has been working very hard in all realms. Our number one concern, at the moment, is to assure that our town has the proper security it needs in order to protect itself from, G-D forbid, future attacks. We have been turning to all those who can make a difference. Our voice has been heard from the Prime minister and down; it is our hope that Israeli government will take the important steps that will enhance our security. In addition, despite our town's financial limitations, Itamar has made some significant changes on the ground which have strengthened our security situation.

On top of this, we have been focusing on the emotional stability of our community as well. Itamar, which has unfortunately suffered more terror attacks than any other community in Israel, must make sure that our residents feel happy and secure. Our youth as well as adults have been receiving counseling and therapy. We have been providing many community and youth activities in order to shed off the feelings of pain and sorrow. This week our youth went on a two day Bnei Akivah hike up north and the focus was on dealing with tragedy. Tamar Fogal participated in the trip together with other Itamar orphans. These amazing children spoke with so much pride and understanding. They are very aware of their important role in building the land of Israel. Of course, they cried together with their friends as they spoke about their precious loved ones. Tamar told about her brother Yoav that when driving through a local village with his parents opened the door of the car and put his foot on the ground. When asked why he did this his response was a verse from Joshuah 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread I have given to you, as I said to Moses."

As we approach our precious Pesach Holiday, we can reflect upon how from slaves in Egypt we became a free nation with the important mission of declaring G-D's word from our precious home land in Eretz Yisrael. Just as a seed before it grows into a plant it must break down and rot and only then will it root and spring forth with beauty and splendor, so to the redemption process! After the ashes of the Holocaust the state of Israel was reestablished. This terrible tragedy on Itamar as well, is no way a personal tragedy. We have been targeted because we are on the front line representing all of Israel. We are hated because we are not afraid to say that Hashem gave the land of Israel to His people as an everlasting inheritance. Those who deny this are denying the word of G-D. We are a peaceful people a people that love and sanctify life. There is no doubt that from this horrific nightmare a great growth spurt will be triggered bringing us all closer to redemption.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith

Leah Goldsmith Speaking to US Students

Itamar welcomes back Rabbi Moshe and Leah Goldsmith from their special mission to the States. They literally spoke to thousands of people including many schools.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hundreds Attend Fogel Memorial

'You were such humane people'
 Photo: Ido Erez
Relatives of slain family members mark end of 30-day mourning period. Participants place cornerstone for new kollel named after Ehud Fogel. 'You're looking at us from above, wondering what all the fuss is about; this is all in your honor,' says Ruth Fogel's father
Article by: Yair Altman  4/10/11 Israel News

Hundreds gathered on Sunday in the West Bank settlement of Itamar to mark the end of the 30-day mourning period for five members of the Fogel family, who were brutally murdered in their sleep.

The participants placed a cornerstone for a new kollel building, which will be named "Mishkan Ehud" (Ehud's residence), after the father of the family, Ehud Fogel, who taught at the yeshiva.  See Full Story...