At 8:59 pm Friday night, terrorists hopped the fence surrounding the village of Itamar setting off an alarm. Not seeing a cut in the fence, the guard assumed the alarm was set by an animal and did nothing further. Between 10:20-10:30 pm the Fogel home was entered and Rabbi Udi Fogel, 36 and his newborn baby, 3-month old Hadas, asleep in the bedroom, had their throats slashed. The mother, Ruth Fogel, 35, came out of the bathroom, briefly fought back, and was stabbed by the door. Then 11 year old Yoav, who was reading in bed, was stabbed to death as was 4 year old Elad. Luckily they missed two sleeping children before exiting the apartment and hopping back over the fence. The Fogels’ 12 year old daughter returned home at 12:30 am and discovered the blood bath. At 3:30 a.m., military trackers discovered footprints leading to the Arab village of Avrata. This morning in Gaza, sweets were distributed in celebration of the murders.
Today in Jerusalem, 20,000 people accompanied the murdered members of the Fogel family to their final resting place. I was going to include in this post the photos of the murdered family so that the absolute horror of what was done to them could be exposed – 3-month old Hadas laying in bed next to her father, both covered in blood, lifeless after having their throats slit, or 4-year old Elad with stab wounds through his heart, his kippah balled up next to him, soaked in his own blood. I can’t do it. The photos are out there, they are not difficult to find, but I am not going to add to the indignity that this family has already suffered and continues to suffer.
Netanyahu has announced the planned construction of hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank as a response to this murder. Palestine Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that he “clearly and firmly denounces the terror attack, just as I have denounced crimes against Palestinians… We are against all types of violence … Our position has not changed. As we have said many times before, we categorically oppose violence and terror, regardless of the identity of the victims or the perpetrators.” President Mahmoud Abbas has yet to make an official statement. Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri stated that “We in Hamas completely support the resistance against settlers who murder and use crime and terror against the Palestinian people under the auspices of the Israeli occupation soldiers.”
Unverified reports have Fatah’s military wing â€“ the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades â€“ accepting responsibility for the attack. A group spokesman told a Palestinian news agency that a terror cell infiltrated the settlement of Itamar and committed the attack.
I remain both numb and horrified. But it’s ok. I’m sure that if the terrorists had broken into the house and instead of finding a settler family resting after a shabbat meal, they found a group of Jewish Sheikh Jarrah protesters singing kumbayah, no one would have been hurt. Totally sure.