Town of Itamar
Town of ItamarIsrael radio photo

A gag order has been imposed on information connected to the investigation of the brutal slaughter of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar on Friday night.

Israeli forces are questioning everyone who might know or have seen anything untoward in the Samaria community. According to Maan News Agency, that included the Thai and Philippine workers who are employed there.  This 'fact' gave the opportunity to several Palestinian news agencies, taking their cue from the Bethlehem-based, PA supporter, Ma’an News,  to run stories claiming that a foreign worker had been arrested for the killings as he was owed money by the family.

There is only one problem: Itamar has no foreign workers. It does not allow them. The Fogel home in Itamar was built solely by Jewish workers. INN received this information from the Samaria regional authority in answer to its query upon reading the, now proven to be blatantly false, Maan article.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has declared that Arabs did not commit the slaughter of six members of the Fogel family at Itamar. He alleged that "Israeli authorities ordered the publishing of bloody photos of the murders, using them to blackmail Abbas and pressure him to resume negotiations, although Netanyahu knows that the killer is not anonymous anymore and for sure he is not a Palestinian," acording to the official PA WAFA website.

The focus of the IDF search for the murderers is in nearby Arab settlements. Israeli forces detained over 300 Palestinians in the village of Awarta in the Nablus district after imposing a three-day curfew on residents, Palestinian security officials told AFP. Two Palestinian Authority intelligence officers were amon those detained, officials added.

According to Maan, the militant wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah have all denied involvement in the murders, with the Al-Aqsa Brigades, who originally claimed credit for the barbaric slaughter, saying Monday in a statement that they "oppose the targeting of civilians and killing of children no matter what the pretext may be."

There was rejoicing in the streets of Gaza, handing out of sweets  and stated approval on the part of Hamas at the news of the murders.  One day after the terrorist massacre in Itamar, Abbas' Fatah faction named a town square after the jihadist leader of a 1978 bus hijacking in which 35 Israelis were killed.
The Gaza government also accused Israel of assuming prematurely that the killings were perpetrated by Palestinians. Perhaps the Gazan reaction is the one believed by CNN, which put quotes around the words “terrorist attacks” in its original coverage. Israel protested to CNN., a further proof of the investigation's focus, if any was needed in addition to the electronic fence alert and previous terrorist history in Itamar.