“The little boy was crying: ‘Where’s my Abba? Where’s Abba? I want my Abba.’ I changed his clothes, he was tired, and I cleaned the blood off his legs,” a Fogel family neighbor says, recalling the events of Friday night. Late that night, terrorists murdered father Udi (36), mother Ruth (35) and their children Yoav (11), Elad (4), and Hadas (three months). The couple’s three other children – Tamar (12), Roi (8) and Yishai (2.5), survived the hellish attack.
One neighbor told of how she met Ruth just hours before she was murdered. “Friday was a regular day, business as usual, everything was fine. After I lit the Shabbat candles I went to visit Ruth. We never thought something like this could happen,” she said.
At around 10 pm the eldest daughter, Tamar, left the house, thus saving herself from the attack that followed. One neighbor said that she hadn’t heard any screams from the Fogel house. “It seems that the terrorists were professional, quick and precise.”
Tamar’s screams filled the air at around 40 minutes past midnight, when she found the bodies of her parents and siblings.
“My husband went out with his weapon cocked after we heard the screams. She ran and we were sure that a terrorist was chasing her and that she was trying to escape. She just cried and we hugged her. We brought her and her two brothers into our house and rushed to lock the door and windows. We thought the attacker was still outside.
“Tamar sat next to us. All of her brother’s clothes were drenched in blood and he was crying: ‘Where’s my Abba? Where’s Abba? I want my Abba.’ I changed his clothes, he was tired, and I cleaned the blood off his legs.”
She added that the other boy was in shock: “He didn’t respond, he was quiet and didn’t even cry. My husband told him that his father will come back soon and his sister Tamar couldn’t bear to hear that. I hadn’t realized what happened so I asked where the rest of the children were. My husband whispered that they were murdered. I did what needed to be done and remained vigilant. I put my fears aside until the security forces arrived.”
At almost midnight last night, a convoy of Zaka ambulances with the bodies of the Fogel family left Itamar. They were escorted by two girls from the settlement, crying bitterly, finding it hard to believe the magnitude of the devastation experienced by their 12-year-old friend.
Itamar residents put the blame on the government. “This event proves that we are the guinea pigs of this so called peace. Arabs are given benefits at the expense of terror attacks. They don’t understand that the problem is these people. They just want to kill us, nothing more,” one of them said.
“This takes me back in time. When I heard about the attack I was in Elon Moreh and I immediately came over, these people are just animals. Otherwise, how do you explain a person capable of murdering a baby and children on Shabbat. We aren’t right-wing extremists and nothing like what the media is trying to portray us as. We just want to live, but this event proves that the people around us won’t stand for that.”
Roee, who lives in the house adjacent to the Fogel’s house, spoke of his murdered neighbors: “This is a family who was evicted from Netzarim and decided to settle here. Ideological people, people of action. Ruthy was a very deep, quiet and spiritual woman.
“Udi, her husband, was a very special person who combined the spiritual with the material. He taught at the yeshiva and educated the youngsters here to take a path of good deeds and actions. This event is hard on all of us, we’re still in shock and trying to process what happened.”
Chaim Fogel, Udi Fogel’s father and grandfather of the three children murdered in the Itamar terror attack, told journalists today: “We will not forgive or forget. Life goes on and the heart tends to forget, but this isn’t the first heinous murder. Our dead join hundreds of our nation’s dead. Another killed and another and everyone continues with their daily routine.
“How long will we stay silent? When will we stop groveling? When will the nation wake up and tell the government no more, when will our enemies get what they deserve? But we don’t turn ourselves to acts of vengeance. God will avenge the spilled blood of his servant,” he added.