The decision to destroy the homes of two Palestinian Authority terrorists who murdered a couple from Itamar and three of their six children is a good one, but should have been carried out much earlier, said Rabbi Avichai Ronsky Sunday.
Optimally, the killers should never have been taken alive, he told Arutz Sheva. “It’s a shame they didn’t kill them during the arrest,” he said bluntly.
The rabbi, a former IDF chief rabbi with the rank of brigadier general who now heads the Itamar yeshiva, said his views are shared by many senior commanders. “It’s obvious that [the terrorists] deserve death,” he stated. Terrorists who survive their arrests get good conditions in prison and have hope that they will be released early, he noted.
Destroying their homes is a good second option, but should have been done immediately, he continued. Now that the decision has finally been made, it should be carried out as soon as possible, he added.
As long as the homes have not been destroyed there will appeals against the demolition – appeals that will be hurtful to the friends and families of the victims, he said. Already some far left groups have protested the planned demolition, calling it collective punishment.
Rabbi Ronsky rejected their arguments. The murderers’ families may not have participated in the actual killing, he said, but they are far from innocent. The families helped the killers hide the murder weapons and their blood-stained clothing. “This is a minor punishment for people like that,” he declared.
In fact, the entire Palestinian Authority village of Awarta should be destroyed and moved elsewhere, he argued. Besides the murderers of the three young Fogel children and their parents, several other terrorists have come from the town, including those who carried out the 2002 murderer of Rachel Shabo and three of her children, also in Itamar.
Terror groups in the village continue to attempt similar murders, he said. “We need to punish them severely so that they will understand that murdering a family in its sleep, murdering babies, is something that must not be done,” he declared. “Until now we have acted as if these were regular murderers. We need to treat this as an emergency situation.”
Despite the continuing threats from Awarta and elsewhere, residents of Itamar stand firm, he reported. Not only have families not fled due to terrorism, but 15 new families have joined the town since the murders, he said.