'Daughter yelled in horror, something terrible happened'

Fogel family neighbor gives eyewitness account to Army Radio after entering family's home in Itamar, says "did not think it was terrorist attack."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 13, 2011 09:55
2 minute read.
Itamar settlement in the West Bank

Itamar 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Jacob Cohen, a neighbor of the Fogel family in the Itamar settlement, was the first person to come to the family's home after the stabbing, he told Army Radio Sunday morning.

Twelve-year-old Tamar Fogel, who is friends with Cohen's daughter, spent the evening with her neighbors at the time of the murder.

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"The couple's daughter left our home, and when she tried to enter her house no one answered her. She heard her brother cry, so she came to call us," Cohen recalled.

"The girls woke me up, I grabbed a weapon in case it was necessary, and when we got to the house we saw traces of mud everywhere, even on the couch itself."

Cohen and Tamar Fogel saw through one of the house's windows that her seven-year-old brother was sleeping and woke him so he could open the door.

Cohen told Army Radio that after a decade without similar events taking place, he did not think the attack was terrorist-related.

"At first I was ashamed to enter the family's home," he said. "We did not think it was a terrorist attack, but when the daughter entered and screamed in horror, I realized something terrible had happened. I prepared my weapon, fired two bullets into the air, I searched the house and found the remaining children, the seven-year-old boy who opened the door, and the two-year-old who was in the parents' room."

Fearing that the terrorist was still in the house, Cohen immediately took the children out and called for help.

The settlement's security forces and then the army came to the Fogel house at around 1:00 am. Cohen said it was not clear why the terrorists chose the Fogel home for the attack. "There is no reason for terrorists to have chosen this house, it is not closer to the [fence] than other houses," he told Army Radio.

"The incident is especially disturbing because Rabbi Udi is an officer in the army, and he probably could not defend himself on time due to the surprise of the attack."

The surviving Fogel children were moved to their grandparents' home.

According to Cohen, the younger son said that the terrorists had skipped him because he was hidden under the blankets.


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