Thursday, April 21, 2011
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."