The victims of the brutal murders at Itamar, in Samaria, Friday night are Rabbi and IDF tank unit officer Udi Fogel, his wife Ruth, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad pictured) and three-month-old Hadas. Rabbi Fogel taught at the Itamar post-high school yeshiva, whose senior rabbi is former IDF Chief Rabbi Avi Ronsky.
Click here for photos of the murder victims that were released by the Fogel family, who gave full permission for their use in order to report on the horrific reality of murdering children and babies in their sleep "simply because they are Jewish." Warning: These photos are extremely graphic and not intended for children.
Their funerals will take place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Har Menuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem. The survivors, 12-year-old Tamar, eight-year-old Ro’ie and two-year-old Shai, are being cared for by their grandfather, Chaim Fogel, a resident of Nevei Tzuf, also in Samaria.
After bringing his grandchildren from the home of the terrorist crime, he said, '"We saw the scene of the vicious murder.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that an initial investigation indicates that the parents, Udi and Ruth Fogel, fought with the attackers, an act that may have been instrumental in saving the lives of three of their children who were in another room. The attackers fled immediately after murdering the parents and three of their children who were in the same room with them.
The IDF has arrested approximately 20 Palestinian Authority Arabs for questioning, but it not known how many terrorists were involved in the murders. It is known that the terrorists jumped over the electronic security fence.
Around 22:30 Friday night, they entered one house , where no one was home, and then broke into the Fogel home to carry out the murders.
Tracks from the home led to the nearby village of Awarta. Saturday night, Jewish residents in the area demonstrated at the nearby Tapuach junction and marched north towards Hawara, near Shechem and where Defense Minister Barak has removed several key security checkpoints and relaxed security inspections.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, "I noticed that several states which rushed to condemn Israel for building a house in some place are taking their time in condemning the murder of children.”
He also said he was shocked by the ambiguous condemnation of Palestinian Authority leaders. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated, "Violence will only bring more violence – we must hurry to find a comprehensive, just solution to the conflict.”
Following the remarks, Prime Minister Netanyahi stated, "I am disappointed by the weak and mumbled statements. This is not how one condemns terrorism. This is not how one fights terrorism. See how Israeli prime ministers, myself among them, have reacted in similar situations, but there has never been anything like this, in which terrorists entered a home and cut children's throats.
"This requires sharp and unequivocal condemnation. This requires something else. This requires a halt to the incitement.... The time has come to stop this double-talk in which the Palestinian Authority outwardly talks peace, and allows – and sometimes leads – incitement at home. The time has come to stop the incitement and begin educating their people for peace."