To no one’s surprise, the investigation into the gruesome Fogel family murders has resulted in the arrest of two Palestinian terrorists from the nearby village of Awarta. The arrests were unsurprising because as I reported from the beginning, muddy footprints had been found leading from the Fogel home in Itamar to Awarta, and a Kevlar vest taken from the house the murderers had first entered that Shabbat night were also found in Awarta.
The first Palestinian terrorist (picture above) charged with the murders is Hakim Mazen Awad, 18, who carried out the murders hoping “to die a martyr’s death.” Awad’s father was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization and his uncle was involved in a June 2002 terror attack in Itamar, which left five dead. The second suspect, Amjad Mahmad Awad (unrelated), 19, is also affiliated with the PFLP–though Shin Bet officials believe that the terrorists did not receive orders from the terrorist organization.
Remorselessly, chilllingly, and in great detail, the two recounted the murders. After entering the first house and finding it vacant, the murderers heard children in the Fogel house, entered it, and immediately butchered the four and eleven year old brothers Elad and Yoav. Parents Ehud and Ruth were then shot and stabbed to death. Upon leaving the Fogel house, they saw a patrol car outside, and went back in. They then heard the Fogel’s baby girl Hadas crying, located her, and stabbed her in the heart and slit her throat. They never saw the other two children.
They then returned to their village on foot and received help from Hakim’s uncle, Salah Awad, also a Popular Front militant. He hid their weapons and bloodstained clothes, and later the stolen weapons to Ramallah. During their interrogation the two Awads indicated there was no difference in killing children and adults describing it simply as the killing of five Jewish Israelis.
Tomorrow, in part 2, I will detail the sordid media tale surrounding the Fogel murders and how Palestinian and western media tried to shift the blame to Thai workers.
A sad addendum: 16 year old Daniel Viflic, who was gravely injured when the Hamas anti-tank missile hit the Israel school bus, died this morning without ever regaining consciousness.