Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palestinian Teens Arrested In Murder of Fogel Family As Teen Victim of Palestinian Terror Dies

While Gazans mourn the death of a pro-Palestinian activist, Israel is mourning the death of a 16-year old Israeli who died of injuries sustained when the bus he was on was struck by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza.

Israeli authorities have arrested two Palestinian teens in connection with the grisly murder of the Fogel family in an Israeli settlement. They were apparently members of the PFLP, which is a PLO offshoot:
The attackers sneaked into the settlement of Itamar on March 11 and killed the family members as they slept. Among the victims was a 3-month-old baby girl, along with her parents, Udi and Ruth Fogel, and two other children, ages 4 and 11.

Grisly pictures from the attack, along with the ages of the young victims, outraged Israelis. The search for the killers focused on the neighboring Palestinian village of Awarta, which was put under curfew while residents were systematically arrested, interrogated, fingerprinted and forced to give DNA samples.

The two suspects, teenagers from Awarta, belonged to a small PLO faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, although it appeared they acted independently, said Col. Nimrod Aloni, a West Bank military commander. The mother of one of the suspects said her son is innocent.

Aloni said the teenagers said during questioning that they "wanted to test their courage and bravery" by penetrating the settlement and stealing a rifle. He said the pair claimed they did not initially plan to kill anyone, but panicked when the baby started crying, endangering their escape.
Families of the teens claim that they were coerced into admitting their roles, including claims of torture. Yet, the families have longstanding ties to the PFLP, and was not the first time that family members carried out attacks against Itamar.

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