Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Itamar on Tuesday, following a request by Shomron Mayor Gershon Mesika. Lieberman’s visit was aimed at strengthening the community of Itamar following the brutal murder on Friday night of five members of the Fogel family.
During the visit, Lieberman was shown by Mesika the room in the Fogel home where the terrorists entered. He then went inside the house and was shown by Mesika the picture that hung on the living room wall of the synagogue in Netzarim, the community from which the Fogel family was expelled during the 2005 expulsion from Gush Katif.
Lieberman and Mesika moved from room to room in the house, seeing the traces of blood that still remained on the floor, on the walls and on the furniture.
“You see the sign on the door which says ‘Congratulations on the birth of a baby,’ and then you go inside and see this pogrom,” a shocked Lieberman told reporters after visiting the home. “Things of which we’ve read about only in books are found right here in the heart of this Jewish community.
“It is the state’s duty to ensure the security of Israeli residents,” continued Lieberman. “There is no doubt that the state failed in this case. The most important thing to be understood here is that all those who call on the State of Israel to return to the '67 borders [1949 Armistice Lines –ed.], mean that Hamas will rule here. Exactly the same process that happened in Gaza will happen again here in Samaria.”
He added: “I sincerely hope that the murderers will be in our hands soon and we will bring them to justice. The failure that happened here should not happen elsewhere. I must express my admiration for the residents of Itamar. I do not know of any other place which had so many victims. 22 residents of Itamar have been killed. This cannot be repeated. We are committed to the security of Israeli citizens before anything else.”
Lieberman also criticized the Palestinian Authority. “One who talks about bloodshed, hatred and murder - you cannot talk to him about peace. Even in the political sphere we need to learn the lessons from this incident.”
He added that in his opinion the terrorists who carried out the massacre should not be put to death. “Revenge is not the guideline by which we want to act. We need to act in a level-headed manner and with determination,” he said. “Israel is a nation which has laws and is one of the best democracies in the world.”
Mesika, who also spoke, criticized the government's policy plans: “Unfortunately all the discussions about withdrawal from lands are detached from reality and are what caused the criminal terrorists to carry out the massacre. The separation fence has not been completed, all because of political reasons. The Arab trees near the partial fence that has already been built are what hid the terrorists who had infiltrated the community.”
Mesika said that “the government must return to the correct Zionist values, fight terrorism and renew the building momentum throughout the land of Israel.”