Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman responded to the murderous attack this morning.
"Gush Etzion was awakened to a hard morning of unalloyed bloodshed by lowly murderers. We are a firm and strong community, experienced in bereavement and heroism.
"We will not weaken as a nation and as an enterprise. In these days of the month of Av, mourning days for the destruction of the Temples and the long exile, we declare with heads held high that our stay in the land of our forefathers is not a passing episode but an existing fact - forever. Our bitter enemies may repeatedly try to hurt us, but our response, like that of the Gush Etzion fighters in the War of Independence, is more determined than ever.”
He added: "We send our condolences to the dear and aching family, and to the yeshiva in which the hero learned. Be strong and have courage! And to the Israeli government we say again - end this war with a victory. Cut off the imaginations of the evil ones. Don't leave them any option. That is the only way to be clear and not leave an opening for their hope. The sovereignty of Israel in Gush Etzion in particular and in Judea and Samaria in general is the only national answer.”