The IDF has arrested the two perpetrators of the vicious slaughter at Itamar, and several accomplices. The murderers are members of the Progressive Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest (after Fatah) faction of the PLO, which the Oslo accords recognize as the ‘sole legitimate representative of the ‘Palestinian people’, and from which was constituted the Palestinian National Authority (PA). The PA plans to declare a state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem with UN sanction this September.
The murderers came from the nearby Arab village of Awarta:
The suspects have been named as Hakim Maazan Niad Awad, an 18-year-old high school student, and Amjad Mahmud Fauzi Awad, 19 [cousins], both from the West Bank village of Awarta, located 2 kilometers south of the settlement of Itamar…
The suspects have confessed to the stabbings and re-enacted the murders, security forces said on Sunday. According to Army Radio, they did not express remorse for their crimes.
Both men are affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) terror group and received significant assistance from family members and friends after the attack, security forces added.
The suspects planned the stabbings days ahead of time. On the night of March 11, after unsuccessful attempts to obtain firearms from a local PFLP representative in their village, the two set out toward Itamar on foot, armed with knives, a wirecutter and masks to cover their faces.
After walking one kilometer, they cut the wire fence that surrounds Itamar, climbed through a forest and over a hilltop, and reached a row of homes. The suspects at first entered a home adjacent to the Fogel residence, but found that nobody was home. They stole an M-16 rifle from the home, ammunition and body armor, before walking on.
“They saw children sleeping in the home, and entered the Fogel family residence,” the IDF said. Immediately after entering the home, the youths set their knives on two young brothers sleeping in their beds, 4-year-old Elad and 11-year-old Yoav.
They then entered the parents’ bedroom, where they launched a knife attack on Ehud and Ruth Fogel. The parents fought back, attempting to fend off the attackers, but died of their stab wounds during the struggle.
The two then left the house. One of the suspects returned and stabbed the three-month-old baby Hadas to death in her crib after she began crying.
According to Israel Radio, Amjad said that he was unaware that there were two other children in the house, and that if he had known, he would have stabbed them as well.
After completing the slaughter, the suspects walked back to the village and told Hakim’s uncle, PFLP member Salah Adin Awad, what they had done. Salah hid their firearms and instructed them to burn their clothes, which were covered in blood. — Jerusalem Post
The murderers were identified by DNA evidence left in the struggle with Ruth and Ehud Fogel. During the investigation, there were numerous complaints from village residents and also from the PA as well as left-wing Israeli groups that their rights were being violated.
How did the murders become familiar with Itamar? At least one of them had been there:
Hakim Awad, 18, was permitted to enter Itamar along with other PA Arabs in order to harvest olives.
The IDF Civil Administration allowed PA Arabs from the nearby village of Awarta to harvest olives within Itamar that they claimed belonged to their village, despite concerns voiced by Itamar residents, who expressed fear that some PA Arabs could use the opportunity to learn the layout of the town in order to plan an attack.
Residents of Itamar even said they would be willing to pick the olives themselves, and deliver them to residents of Awarta, rather than open their town to potentially hostile PA residents. However, Civil Administration officials insisted that Awarta residents not only be given possession of the olives in question, but be allowed to harvest the produce themselves…
The IDF and the Civil Administration face pressure each year from the PA and the foreign and Israeli left to allow Arabs to harvest olives freely, regardless of security concerns. Many far-left groups, among them the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and Rabbis for Human Rights, hold annual “olive harvest” events aimed at forcing Israel to allow PA Arabs to enter Israeli land during the harvest. — Israel National News
More information is at The Muqata and Israel Matzav. Israel Matzav also has a recording in which a PA minister reiterates the PA demand to ‘release all Palestinian prisoners’ — specifically including these suspects — regardless of the charges against them, because of their ‘right to resist occupation’.
The ‘alleged’ (yeah, right) murderers grew up under the Palestinian Authority regime of Yasser Arafat, and breathed the atmosphere of racist hatred promulgated in PA media, schools, textbooks, mosques, camps, etc. ever since 1993. Note that even though Mahmoud Abbas and other PA officials have promised to stop the hateful incitement to murder in the official media and educational system, they have not done so.
Think about what it would take to make your average 18-year old capable of slitting a baby’s throat — and think about the premeditation, the adults that helped them, and the whole town, many of whose inhabitants are related, that knew about it. Think also about the megalomania that informs Palestinian Arab culture, which permits them to complain about violation of their rights in these circumstances. Think about their assertion of a ‘right to resist occupation’ which includes butchering Jewish children.
Understand that these are the people that want to be given control of a highly strategic area next to Israel’s major population centers, while refusing to agree that a Jewish state has a right to exist and to end all claims against it in a ‘peace’ agreement.
Many have suggested that a death penalty be instituted for particularly vicious terrorism, and I agree.
Some have also suggested that village of Awarta should be razed to the ground. I have another idea: just convert it into an institution for the incarceration of the criminally insane. Unfortunately, it isn’t big enough to hold the one-third of Palestinian Arabs who approve of the murders.
Update [1117 PDT]: Daniel Viflic,the 16-year-old boy who was wounded in the Hamas antitank missile attack on a school bus near Gaza last week, has died. May Hashem revenge his blood, and the Fogels’ and all the rest of the victims of the ‘Palestinian cause’.
Update [22 April 0949 PDT]: Corrected identification of photo to Amjad, not Hakim, Awad.