Relatives of the two said they were not only cousins - Kineret's mother and Matat's father are siblings - but also good friends.
The third victim, Oz Ben-Meir (pictured above), a 9th-grade student in the Yeshiva High School in Dimona, was buried in Susia, near his hometown of Maon, adjacent to Carmel. Said to be a leader among his peers, he was an expert in navigating hikes through the mountainous areas near his home.
The three were murdered late Sunday afternoon while standing at a hitch-hiking stand at the Gush Etzion junction, waiting for a ride home. The terrorists arrived in a private car, fired off three magazines' worth of bullets, and sped off towards the south.
The Yesha Rabbis Council released this statement following the murderous attack: "The campaign of murder that began today is greased by the encouragement it received from the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif. The thought of appeasing the enemy by throwing Jews out of their homes is again shown to be an absolutely erroneous premise. The IDF must respond by waging all-out and unwavering war on the terrorists and those who dispatch them."
Five people were wounded in Sunday's attack, and three of them were still hospitalized in Jerusalem late this morning (Monday). One seriously wounded soldier is in Hadassah Ein Karem, together with another victim in moderate-to-serious condition, and an 18-year-old boy with a leg wound described as moderate is hospitalized in Shaarei Zedek Medical Center.
Following the attack, Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz convened a high-level security consultation, and later announced the series of measures decided upon: Palestinian Authority residents will be forbidden to drive in private cars on main roads, and the policy of tightly encircling PA-controlled cities will be implemented again. Arrests will be intensified - IDF forces arrested 18 terrorists last night in the Jenin, Hevron and Ramallah districts - and terrorists will again be targeted in preemptive attacks. Checkpoints that have been removed over the past months as part of the good-will gestures to the Palestinian Authority will be restored, particularly in the Bethlehem-Hevron area. All meetings with PA negotiators have been called off for the time being.
MK Effie Eitam (National Union), a former IDF Galilee Formation Commander, was scornful of the above decisions. "The idea of no private cars is something we recommended three years ago," he said today, "but knowing [the decision-makers], in any event it won't last for more than two weeks, and then they'll start again with the concessions... Every two-bit security expert now says he knew all along that the terrorism would move from Gaza to Judea and Samaria. Of course there's quiet in Gaza; the terrorists are holding us hostage and threatening that if we don't make the same type of concessions in Judea and Samaria, that will be the end of the quiet in Gaza."
Meretz party leader Yossi Beilin scorned the old/new measures from the other angle: "Hamas is now rubbing its hands in glee, as these tough new measures are exactly what it wanted. We have said all along that if the diplomatic process does not continue in Judea and Samaria, the disengagement from Gaza will have been [a waste]."
The split between the army and parts of the public was placed in bold relief once again yesterday at the very site of the attack. IDF Central Commander Maj.-Gen. Ya'ir Naveh arrived on the scene, and was banished in ignominy by several bystanders. They called out, "Get out of here, take off your yarmulke, you expelled Jews from their homes." Naveh, brother of Health Minister Danny Naveh, quickly left.
Following the murderous attack, it was reported that local Jewish residents set fire to an Arab stand between Alon Shvut and Bat Ayin. In another incident, an empty Arab store in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood of Hevron was burnt. No one was hurt in these incidents; the police opened an immediate investigation.