The five members of the Israeli family murdered at Itamar, 1:00 a.m. Shabbat morning were Udi Fogel, 38; Ruth Fogel, 35; Yoav 11; Elad, 3; and Hadas, four-months old. They are survived by Roi, 8; Yishai, 2; and sister Tamar, 12, who discovered her family, butchered, when arriving home late that night. Security officials in the settlement did not know of the incident until three hours after it happened.
The family moved to Itamar in the “West Bank,” after Jewish communities were forcibly evicted from the Gaza Strip in 2007; part of the Sharon government’s disengagement.
Hamas networks have been regrouping in Judea and Samaria for the purpose of attacking and kidnapping Israelis on either side of the Green Line. Several Palestinians were detained recently at the few remaining “West Bank” checkposts with pipe bombs, knives and fire bombs.
Leading up to last fall’s failed peace talks, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had pressured Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to grant West Bank Palestinians nearly unrestricted freedom of movement and generous aid for their economic development.
Last September, on the eve of peace negotiations in Washington, a loan Palestinian gunman fired at a vehicle traveling on Route 60 near the entrance to Kiryatr Arba. The victims were Yitzhak Ames, 47, and his wife Tali Ames, 45; Kochava Even-Haim, 37, and Avishai Schindler, 24. The ames had six children, including a toddler of one-and-a-half years.
Hamas was responsible for that attack. Hamas hailed the murder of the Fogel family, whose throats were slashed, as “a heroic operation.” The attack was the initial result of an Iran-funded secret conference in Khartoum last week of the heads of the national branches of the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to one source:
“Iranian intelligence officers attending the conference used the occasion to set up direct contacts with Brotherhood leaders who came from Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan, Great Britain. The Palestinian delegation representing Hamas-Gaza was headed by Mahmoud A-Zahar and Hamas-Damascus headed by Khaled Meshaal.”
Both PA Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, and Abu Mazen condemned the action. However, Netanyahu accuses them of “hypocritically mouthing peace slogans abroad while promoting anti-Israel incitation and propaganda on a daily basis in Palestinian schools and mosques.”
Netanyahu said in a statement:
“I noticed that some of the states that rushed to the Security Council to condemn Israel, the Jewish State, for planning to build a home somewhere, are slow in issuing a harsh condemnation over the murder of Jewish babiesâ€¦There’ is no justification whatsoever, no excuse and no forgiveness for the murder of babies.”
Officials of the Prime Minister’s Office are pondering the option of releasing grotesque photographs of the terror attack aftermath in Itamar to the foreign media. Photographs are not usually published in Israel following terror attacks. Should such protocol be overturned, Israel’s Government Press Office will hand over the photographs to global media outlets.
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