(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)
A month after members of the Fogel family (parents Udi, 36 and Ruth, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4 and Hadas, 3 months) were brutally murdered at their home in Itamar while they were sleeping, the Commander of IDF forces overseeing the Shomron Regional Brigade to which Itamar belongs to, announces that the IDF has caught two of the killers in the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta.
Col. Nimrod Aloni also states that the motivation of terror groups in the West Bank to execute attacks against Israeli civilians is still high.
IDF Spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich: “The murders of five family members including a 3 month baby constitute a crossing of all red lines. The IDF has invested in numerous operational and intelligence efforts, and has worked closely with other security forces in order to find those responsible for this vicious murder.”
The IDF will continue its efforts to ensure the safety of Israeli civilianss and will bring the perpetrators of terrorist attacks to justice.
Details on murderers of five members of the Fogel family
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office)
Following the 11 March 2011 murders of five members of the Fogel family in the Samarian community of Itamar, the ISA, the IDF and the Israel Police began a joint operation to apprehend the murderers. During the operation, dozens of suspects from Awarta – approximately 2 kilometers southwest of Itamar – were detained for questioning. The investigation and intelligence efforts led to the arrest of two young men, residents of Awarta, who confessed to planning and perpetrating the murders, and reconstructed them:
Hakim Maazan Niyad Awad, born in 1993, a minor under Israeli law, was arrested on 5 April 2011. A high school student, he is affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). He was involved in the October 2010 stabbing of youths from Awarta; the motive was a personal dispute.
Awad’s father, Maazan, is a PFLP terrorist who, in the late 1990’s, served approximately five years in a Palestinian Authority prison in connection with the murder of his niece and the burning of her body.
Awad’s uncle, Jibril Awad, was a PFLP terrorist who was killed in a December 2003 clash with IDF soldiers. He had been involved in the 20 June 2002 terrorist attack in Itamar, in which Rachel Shabo (40) and three of her children (Avishai – 5, Zvika – 13 and Neria – 16), and their neighbor Yosef Twito (31), were murdered.
Amjad Muhammad Fawzi Awad, born in 1992, was arrested on 10 April 2011. A student, he is affiliated with the PFLP. He had previously worked as a laborer in Israel.
Hakim and Amjad planned to perpetrate a terrorist attack in Itamar several days before March 11. To this end, they tried to acquire a firearm. They turned to Muhammad Said Awad (now under arrest), a PFLP militant in Awarta, and asked that he procure weapons for them; he did not do so.
On March 11, Hakim and Amjad set out for Itamar, armed with knives and tools to cut the perimeter fence and cover their tracks. They crossed from Awarta to Itamar and climbed/jumped over the fence. Once inside Itamar, they proceeded to approach the first row of houses. They broke into a home adjacent to the Fogel residence but found nobody inside. They stole an M-16, clips and a flak jacket. They exited the home and thereupon burst into the Fogel residence. Having spotted children while still outside, they murdered 11-year-old Yoav and 4-year-old Elad. The assailants thereupon entered the bedroom where the parents, Ruth and Udi, were sleeping with 3-month-old Hadas and murdered all three, following a struggle. Before leaving the house, the murderers stole another M-16.
The murderers returned to Awarta on foot and went to the home of Hakim’s uncle, PFLP militant Salah E-Sin Awad, and informed him of what they had done. Salah helped them hide the stolen weapons and knives, burn their bloody clothes. During the investigation, it arose that various members of their families were extensively involved in helping them and were fully aware of what they had done.
After March 11, the murderers returned to their daily routines. Salah gave the stolen weapons to Jihad Abid, a resident of Ramallah, who hid them in his home. The latter was arrested on 14 April 2011; the weapons were recovered.
Arrested as accomplices were:
- Salah Aladin Salim Awad – born in 1979, a PFLP militant, Hakim’s uncle;
- Hassan Salim Awad – born in 1972, a PFLP militant, Hakim’s uncle;
- Maazan Niyaz Awad – born in 1967, a PFLP militant, Hakim’s father;
- Jihad Abid – born in 1979, friend of Salah Awad, who hid the stolen weapons for Salah; and
- Muhammad Said Awad – born in 1984, a PFLP militant, whom Hakim and Amjad asked to provide them with a weapon.
The investigation is ongoing.