Two teenagers have been arrested for the murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar on 11 March.
Hakim Awad and Amjad Awad are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and were were assisted by at least six others, four of them from Awad’s family. The two said they acted out of nationalist motives and expressed no regret for their crime.
In March, the two killers broke into the Fogel home, found the bedrooms of 11-year-old Yoav and 4-year-old Elad and stabbed them to death. They then entered the parents’ bedroom, where they struggled with and overcame Rabbi Udi Fogel and his wife Ruth before stabbing them to death.
Amjad told officials that after leaving the house he could not resist going back to kill 3-month-old Hadas, who was left crying, wet with the blood of her parents. He also said that had he known there were two other children in the house, he would have killed them too.
Investigators said they were shocked by the dispassionate confessions.
In the Palestinian Authority, the killers of Israeli Jews, and especially Israeli “settlers,” are hailed as martyrs and national heroes, which increased the motivation to engage in such violence.
The father of one of the murderers of the Fogel family at Itamar had served in jail for terror, and an uncle involved in the 2002 terror attack on same community.
Meanwhile, two Grad missiles struck near the southern port city of Ashdod last Friday afternoon on the eve of the Sabbath, breaking another in a countless number of ceasefires announced by the de facto Hamas government in Gaza. In response, the Israel Air Force bombed two terrorist sites in northern Gaza on Friday night.
Foreign journalists cover complex Middle East negotiations, and news outlets often characterize lulls in hostilities as “armistices” or “cease-fires”, reminiscent in western minds of the end of hostilities in World War I.
However, the western media often ignore the nuanced Arabic words. David Bedein, Director of the Israel Resource News Agency and Attorney Beryl Dean have put together a guide to what Hamas means when it is said to have offered a “cease fire”:
• Hudna: a tactical pause intended only for rearmament.
• Tahida: a temporary halt in hostile activity which can be violated at any time.
• Hudaybiyyah: there will be no fighting for ten years, a term taken from the “treaty of Hudaybiyyah” in 628 AD.
• Sulch: a total cessation of hostile activity.
The hudna, tahida and hudaybiyyah offered by the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad bear no relationship to the mu’ahada peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979, or the mu’ahada peace treaty Jordan signed with Israel in 1994.