Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan spoke Tuesday at the funeral of Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, 29, resident of Har Bracha and father of four children who was murdered yesterday in a terror attack at the entrance to the city of Ariel.
"How short his life was, but how full and meaningful," Dagan said. "Here you taught at Har Bracha. In the last six months, you traveled every day to Givat Shmuel, to teach, to educate, to bequeath the Torah to the next generation. To connect them to the Land of Israel, how much kindness you had."
"With your winning smile, you loved people and people loved you. How much you and [your wife] Miriam devoted yourselves to education, to Har Bracha, to the elementary school, to the yeshiva. How did that vile murderer succeed? How could he snatch a high and pure soul like you?"
Dagan delivered a clear message to the government and to its leader, "Our representatives in the Israeli government - today we expect answers together with all the people of Israel, the entire nation is waiting for clear answers. Deterrence must not be lost. The second attack in Samaria in less than a month; it's inconceivable that the checkpoints have not been returned. It is inconceivable that in the middle of the day at a central junction in the heart of the State of Israel, a savage terrorist gets out of a taxi and carries out his plan without fear, without concern.
"Our friends in the government," Dagan continued, "The answer to terror is not messages of weakness and false clichés about fake security cooperation. An answer would be to encourage building up the land, an answer would be strengthening settlement in the Land of Israel, and an answer would be a determined war. Not only against the murderers themselves but against those who sent them, the instigators, from the Palestinian Authority.
"I say from here, to the vile murderers - first and foremost to the terrorist Mahmoud Abbas, may his name be wiped out - we will never be broken. Har Bracha is one of the strongest communities in the State of Israel, one of the settlements that despite being in the front line of settlement on Mount Gerizim over Shechem, is up to pace with the high growth rate in the State of Israel, with more than 2,000 residents, with one of the largest dormitories in Israel.
"Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is strong. Here in Har Bracha there will be a city. This is our response as civilians. The role of the IDF is to take revenge on the Palestinian terrorist organization, the murderers and those who sent them. Our job is to strengthen the building of the Land of Israel and to avenge and fix the desecration of the Jewish people that happened here yesterday and strengthen our roots here in Har Bracha."
The Samaria Council head addressed Netanyahu: "Mr. Prime Minister, you are listening to us now. I call upon you, Mr. Prime Minister, to announce today the transformation of Har Bracha into a city in Israel. I call upon you, Mr. Prime Minister, to give a determined and genuine answer to this terrible murder."
At the end of his speech, Dagan emphasized to the bereaved family, "Dear Miriam, dear families, we promise to be with you; you will never be alone. We'll find strength together. The Blessed Holy One will give strength to the dear family, to the Har Bracha family, to the Shomron community, to the entire Jewish people, and to the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces.Shake off the dust, arise, and wear the garments of Your glory My nation, in the building of the Land of Israel may we be consoled."