Suspects in Fogel, Itamar massacre_311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
On the night of March 11 – as members of the Fogel family slept in their home in Itamar – Hakim Maazan Niad Awad and Amjad Mahmud Fauzi Awad set out from the village of Awarta, 2 km. to the south, armed with knives, face masks and a wire cutter, security forces said on Sunday.
The following account of the massacre that followed is based on confessions from the two suspects, a reenactment of the attack by them, and a painstaking investigation led by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
Comment: Failing to cross the moral threshold for statehood?PA-linked sites: 'Foreign worker behind Itamar
Column One: Israel’s indivisible legitimacy
The suspects planned the stabbings days ahead, and made unsuccessful attempts to obtain firearms from a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine representative in their village.
The lack of guns did not dissuade the two men from carrying out their plan to murder Jews.
The youths left Awarta on foot, and after a kilometer, decided against using their wire cutter after seeing that the fence had an electric sensor. Instead they climbed over the fence without triggering its alarm, hiked over a forest hilltop, and reached a row of homes in Itamar.
They entered a home adjacent to the Fogel residence, but no one was there. They stole an M-16 rifle from the home, as well as ammunition and body armor, and walked down the street.
The terrorists then saw the Fogel residence, and spotted children sleeping through the window, security forces said.
Immediately after entering the home, the youths set their knives on two brothers sleeping in their beds, four-year-old Elad, and 11-year-old Yoav, killing them both.
They then entered the parents’ bedroom, where they launched a knife attack on Ehud and Ruth Fogel. The parents fought back. During the struggle, one of the suspects used the stolen M-16 to shoot Ruth Fogel dead. Ehud died of his stab wounds during the fight.
The two men left the house, but then they heard three-month-old Hadas crying.
Awoken by the attack, the baby lay in her crib in her parents’ bedroom.
“They went back into the house and stabbed the baby to death,” a security source said.
Two other children were in the home, but were spared because Akim and Amjad did not know they were there.
Amjad later told interrogators that he would have killed them, too, had he known that they were in the house.
After murdering five members of the family, the men walked back to their 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.
The men then returned to their daily life. Meanwhile, Salah sent the
murder weapons to a friend in Ramallah, named Jad Avid, who hid them in
“They received much support from family members and friends in their environment,” the security source said.
Six suspected accomplices are also under arrest.