The murder of the Fogel family in the Israeli settlement of Itamar on 12 March provoked reactions in the Palestinian media. A number of columnists in the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, condemned the murder of children which, they said, contradicted Palestinian moral values. However, the same columnists laid the ultimate blame for the murders at the feet of the Israeli government. Israel habitually murders children, they said, and added that it was Israeli policy that triggered the attack, and that Israel was exploiting the murders as political capital. It was also suggested that the attack may have been perpetrated by an Israeli settler.
The Israeli Government Would Rather Dig Graves Than Build Homes
Hafez Al-Barghouti wrote: “Condemning the murder of settler children, even if their presence on our land is illegal, means condemning the settlement [enterprise] itself, which uses blood to fuel for the bulldozers of the settlements. With its current policy, the right-wing [Israeli] government is itself an accessory to the crime of murder. Moreover, it covers for every act of insanity against the settlers – as if it itself placed the knife in the murderer’s hand.
“The settlement [enterprise] is the cradle of all the barbaric deeds and inhuman operations, because it is, at its root, an inhuman operation that is against international law and against the way of life, and that disrupts any progress toward a peace arrangement...
“The insanity of the settlement [enterprise] is no less grave than the insanity of the murderer who slaughtered the children in Itamar, and it is the same insanity that wrought destruction on hundreds of our children, infants, and unborn due to the occupation’s insistence on continuing in its delusions rather than taking the path of peace. Maybe a government with such superficial thinking, which exploits the blood of children in order to spill the blood of the land and its inhabitants, is [actually] striving to move things to the point of no return in the path of violence.”
Saleh Masharqa wrote: “Netanyahu... hates to think of the future of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. He hates to think of the construction of a home for Hadas and her Jewish family in an agricultural kibbutz within Israel... This thinking is not of constructing homes, but of digging the graves of the children of settlers in the West Bank and the graves of Palestinian children everywhere.”
Column On Hamas-Affiliated Website: Itamar Murders “A Heroic Act”
Sawsan Al-Barghouti, a columnist for a website affiliated with Hamas, called the Itamar murders a “heroic act”: “The heroic act in Nablus struck stunning blows, the first of which was against the supporters of coexistence [between the Palestinians] and the Jews on the holy and proud land of Palestine. Stability, security, freedom and independence cannot prevail as long as there are recruits [in Palestine], each and every one armed from head to toe and supported by their thieving and plundering government.
“The second blow was to ‘Abbas and the Palestinian Authority: The resistance in the West Bank exists and is strong, despite the persecution, arrest, and assassination of the mujahideen [there]...
“This heroic deed, and ones like it, have successfully sabotaged the Arab initiative [i.e. the Saudi Arab peace initiative], which is not worth a single glance. Our heroes in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank... will sabotage all plans against the legitimate ‘violence,’ and they will come out against the enemy, from under the ground, from across the borders, and from places so distant as to be unimaginable by the Mossad, the occupation forces, and their entire army of defeat and disappointment.”
Read more at Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).