Minutes after Dafna Meir was brought to burial at Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, Arutz Sheva spoke with Har Hevron regional council head Yochai Damari about the feelings in southern Judea as Meir's murderer remains on the loose.
Meir, 39, worked as a nurse at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva, and was a mother to six including two adopted children. She fought with the Arab terrorist who stabbed her at the entrance of her home in Otniel on Sunday night, and prevented him from murdering three of her children who were inside at the time.
In his eulogy, Damari noted he "called on the government of Israel, which sent us residents of Judea and Samaria for the last forty years to go out as Zionist emissaries of the people for the settlement, agriculture, tourism and education, and that's what we did. The government of Israel needs and must make a very clear decision, by deciding to implement Israeli sovereignty on the towns of Judea and Samaria."
"That's the statement. That's needed. Not to leave us under an occupation, under military rule," he added, noting how the Biblical heartland of Israel has been left under the administration of the army since being liberated in the 1967 Six Day War, as sovereignty has yet to be implemented in the region.
Damari said residents expect sovereignty to be the next step of the government, a step that would give actual meaning in practice to the words of support mouthed by ministers and members of the government during the funeral.
When asked if he raises the matter of sovereignty in talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other senior officials, the Har Hevron regional head said it is no secret not everyone sees eye to eye with him, but the issue is being raised.
"You have to know that against the monster of terror, no one knows what door it will come knocking at throughout the entire country," he added.
"An iron fist against terror"
According to Damari, "when they talk of an intifada of lone individuals, what they mean is that there's the potential here for over a million terrorists. The practical meaning is that every Arab with a knife in hand, influenced by social media and the incitement of the (mosque) minarets, could be a potential attacker."
"Therefore in order to stop this motivation it needs to be clear that the crime, the killing and the terror don't pay, and they have a price," he said.
A full 29 people have been murdered in the current Arab terror wave since it broke out last September, and noting on the growing death count, he added, "as long as we talk and talk...there will be more blood and the list will grow longer."
Damari called the implementation of sovereignty "a Zionist settlement act, an act with very clear achievement like an iron fist against the terror that wants to banish us, a very strong statement that we won't move from here ever, and now we'll speak about coexistence and peace with neighbors, but not from a place of inferiority...but rather from a place of ownership."
Turning his attention to the topic of defending the Jewish towns in the region and placing fences in light of Meir's murder at her home in Otniel, he said, "there are (various) voices around this matter. We are conducting a serious investigation to know and understand how the terrorist entered."
"At this point we can't give a lot of details, but it appears that he wasn't a worker. I say this with caution and still without authority. Together with the army we will understand how the terrorist got in, we will learn and give an immediate response, not tomorrow or in two days but an immediate response, to the defensive mantle that exists in the Har Hevron communities and in Otniel in particular."
When asked about the fears of children seeing how the constant Arab terrorism on the roads, usually in the form of rock throwing and knife attacks, has moved into the Jewish communities, Damari said the Har Hevron regional council is working to protect and calm the citizens.
"The council has placed teams of psychologists and social workers in very intensive and significant work in the preschools and schools, and educational institutions, and also for the wider public."
"Thank God the public in Har Hevron is a believing public, firm and strong, a quality public that knows what it's dealing with and how it stands, and even so we are strengthening their might and creating a community that is very strong that will radiate strength not only internally but most of all externally, also to the leadership. We know that when there's a strong community it is possible to defeat the terror, and our community is a strong community," concluded Damari.