Two years since Itamar massacre

On this day two years ago, five members of the Fogel family were brutally murdered in their home in the Israeli community of Itamar

Date: 03/11/2013, 3:10 PM     Author: Gabriel Freund

On March 11, 2011, Israel reeled from the news of the shocking deaths of five members of the Fogel family, brutally slaughtered in their family home in the Israeli community of Itamar. On that night, two Palestinian terrorists from the nearby town of Awarta infiltrated the small Israeli community and broke into the Fogel's home while they slept, stabbing to death the parents and three of their children, including Hadas – just three months old.

The IDF responded quickly to the incident, conducting investigations alongside the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) which led to the capture and arrest of the two terrorists – Hakim Awad and Amjad Awam – who were subsequently tried and convicted of five counts of murder. They are currently serving five consecutive life sentences in prison.

The examination into the incident revealed that the men had links to the PFLP terror organization. Hamas sources praised the vicious attack as 'heroic'.

The Fogel family's tragic story reminds us that the IDF has no option other than constant vigilance against the endless attempts of agents of terror to harm Israel's citizens.

The Military Police Corps' Erez Battalion has recorded a sharp increase in seizures and apprehensions at crossings and barriers in the Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem regions in recent years. This alarming trend represents both the evolving methods of would-be illegal infiltrators, as well as the battalion's growing effectiveness in preventing such intrusions.

Among the apprehensions and seizures have been countless cases of forged identity documents, as well as attempts to illegally smuggle weapons. In a recent incident, IDF forces apprehended a terrorist released during the Shalit deal who was attempting to infiltrate Israeli territory.

In 2012 soldiers from the Erez Battalion apprehended 1,450 Palestinians attempting to enter Israel illegally, a sober reminder that IDF forces are the line of defense, every day  preventing the entry of terrorists planning to carry out attacks against Israeli citizens.

For more information on the Erez Battalion:
Security forces face increased hostility at crossings

The victims of the attack. (Clockwise, from top left:) Ruth (35), Udi (36), Hadas (3 months), Yoav (11) and Elad (4)

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