Harp and Story

Tragedy Up Close

Tragedy Up Close

We had the opportunity to go to Itamar on Friday.   If you have been following Israel news over this year you undoubtedly know about the massacre of the Fogel family. The Fogel’s lived in the community of Itamar.  At the request of our group, we were taken to the place of the massacre.

The community of Itamar has the largest land grant in the Shomron, 7000 dunams, stretching 5 kilometers southeast of Shechem/Nablus to the Jordan River.  It is an agricultural community with a large dairy, cage-free chicken farming and organic gardening with greenhouses.  It also is a large educational center with about a 1000 students at half-a-dozen or so different schools.  The community membership though is fairly small, a little more than a thousand residents, compared to all the activity they are engaged in.  Check out the following link for more information: http://www.shechem.org/itamar/eindex.html.

The Fogel’s were part of the Gush Katif forced evacuation.   They ended up buying a house in the community of Itamar.  The houses in the residential area where the
Fogel’s purchased were built as a result of an earlier murderous Arab spree.  Again the community of Itamar is building many more residences because of the Fogel massacre.  The Jewish people in the Shomron respond to Arab murderous assaults with building projects that bring life to counter the death.

We walked up the street past identical houses perched on the edge of the hillside, most with dogs in the yard and everyone with bars over the windows; a back yard fence stretches across the back boundary of this row of homes and beyond that is a security fence topped with razor wire.  We walked into the yard of the Fogel home now overgrown with weeds, toys still strewed about the yard and front porch; it was eerie to be in this place that once had held so much life and now was empty, lifeless, a home in mourning.  We were told that the murderers cut the community perimeter fence and then made their way up the hill, broke through the razor wire and came through an opening in the back yard fence between the Fogel’s and their neighbors.  They broke into the neighbor’s home first who were not home at the time, made themselves a cup of coffee and then proceeded over to the Fogel house.  They raised the shade on one of the windows and crawled inside; all the bars on all the windows came after the massacre.  The brutality of this massacre defies description, two of the boys were spared because they didn’t wake up during the rampage and therefore avoided detection, sleeping on the sofa instead of in their beds, the baby almost was spared as the father’s body was covering the baby, but the little thing cried and the murderers heard and came back and killed the innocent one.  Recently Arutz Sheva News carried an article on the community of Itamar.  The IDF has allowed Arab residents of the village of Awarta to come into the community of Itamar and harvest their olive trees.  As the Arab residents came into the community, including the family of the terrorists who murdered the Fogels, they were shouting to the Itamar residents, “We will do the same thing to you as we did to the Fogel’s,” while drawing knife slashing signs across their throats.

Psa 35
PLEAD my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me; fight against them that fight against me.  Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.
Draw out the sword and flash it against them that persecute me; say unto my soul. I am your Saviour.
Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul; let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise evil against me.
Let them be as chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
For they have dug pits for me and have spread a snare for my soul.
Let evil come upon them unawares; and let the net that they have hidden trap them; into that very pit which they have dug let them fall.
My soul shall be joyful in God; it shall rejoice in his salvation.




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