The absence of a proper security system around the Itamar settlement enabled a
terrorist to infiltrate the community and kill five members of the Fogel family
last Friday, charged Samaria Regional Council head Gershon
RELATED:Livni promises Fogel daughter to push for Pollard1,000 attend New York memorial for Fogel family
“Construction of the fence around the settlement and the
technological apparatus was not completed because of a lack of funds and because
of [legal] instructions,” he told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee who visited Itamar on Thursday.
“This fence is inferior
to other fences [that surround settlements]. I call on you to ensure that Itamar
will have the ability to secure its community, just like any other community,”
He called on committee head Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) to
investigate the absence of these defense measures and to correct the matter
Mesika spoke to the committee members as they toured Itamar
on Thursday afternoon to see firsthand the scene of the terror attack in which
Udi Fogel, 36, his wife Ruth, 35, and three of their six children – Yoav, 11,
Elad, four, and Hadas, three months – were killed.
“The security of
Israeli citizens can’t be harmed for political reasons,” said Mesika, charging
that a proper security apparatus and a full fence had not been constructed
because of budgetary reasons and because the High Court of Justice had ruled
that it was illegal.
According to the IDF, the terrorist climbed over the
fence and set off an electronic warning system, but the security guard who
rushed to that spot believed an animal had set off the alarm.
The Jerusalem Post that if proper cameras had been installed, the guard would
have been properly able to assess the danger.
Separately he said that the
proper response to the attack was for the government to build five new
settlements named after the victims.
He showed the committee members
where the terrorist had come into a back yard in a row of homes on the edge of
The terrorist entered a home that was empty because the
family had gone away for Shabbat, Mesika said.
They stole a weapon from
the home and then waited, said Mesika. The Fogel family next door was hosting a
number of their daughter Tamar’s friends, he said.
When she left with
them, the terrorist entered, he said.
Mesika then brought the committee
members into the Fogel home to see the overturned furniture and the purplish
chemical spots on the walls, where blood had been.
On the wall in the
living room was a photograph of the former Gaza settlement Netzarim, where the
Fogel family had lived until they were evacuated during the 2005
Mesika described how in each room the terrorist had
attacked a different family member.
After they left the house, Mofaz said
that from a security perspective, “the fate of Itamar was the fate of Tel
Mofaz said he believed the IDF would find the terrorist, and that
he was of the opinion that Itamar had a sufficient security apparatus. The
question, he said, was why the system had failed on Friday night.
later, in Jerusalem, mourners gathered at the Yeshurun Synagogue for a memorial
service for the Fogel family.
Ruth Fogel’s father, Rabbi Yehuda
Ben-Yishai, said that in the past week he and his family had felt the support of
all of Israel, which had hugged and strengthened them.
“Udi and Ruti, we
knew that you were good people. Today we are learning that a whole world was
inside each of you.
Every minute, more and more was revealed,” Ben-Yishai
In an interview with Channel 2 on Thursday, 12-year-old Tamar Fogel
said, “This whole thing, and everything that has happened to the people of
Israel, has not broken us. We will continue to settle the land.”
recalled the moment when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had come to her
grandparents’ home after the funeral and said that “they kill and we build – and
we will build.”
“I said, okay, but then you evacuate. When you came to
comfort us, you said we build and we expand, but on the ground, you evacuate all
the time. And it isn’t just an evacuation – there is also a civil war,” she
She added that what had been most important to her parents was the
unity of the Jewish people.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Tzipi Livni made
a pledge to 12-year-old Fogel on Wednesday to work to bring about the release of
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.
Livni made the promise during a visit to
the family, which is sitting shiva at the home of Ruth Fogel’s parents in
Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood.
Pollard’s wife Esther visited the shiva
house earlier and presented teddy bears from her husband to Tamar and her two
Tamar showed the bear to Livni and asked her to take
action on behalf of Pollard, who has served more than 25 years of a life
Livni responded that she had worked to bring about Pollard’s
release and would continue to do so. She commended Tamar for her
“Despite all your pain, you are thinking about the pain of
others,” Livni told Tamar. “This is heartbreaking and amazing.”
associates recalled that as foreign minister, she had urged American officials
to release Pollard in gratitude for the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. She told
the Knesset two months ago that Pollard’s fate was an apolitical issue.