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March 14, 2011

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West Bank Massacre Photos Released Online - Attila Somfalvi (Ynet News)
    Images of the gruesome murders in the West Bank settlement of Itamar were released online by unofficial sources.
    See also Photos of Murdered Israeli Family (Tom Gross Media)
    These photos from the Itamar attack were made available to news media with the permission of the grandparents who want people to see what was done to their family.
    Be warned, they are graphic.

Israel Will Not Rely on PA to Hunt Terrorists - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
    In recent years, since the deployment of American-trained Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, the IDF has in many cases relied on the PA to arrest terror suspects.
    But the IDF will not rely on anyone else as it hunts for those responsible for the murder of five members of the Fogel family as they slept in their beds.
    Just last month, the IDF decided to remove the Hawara checkpoint at the southern entrance to Nablus, just before the turnoff to Itamar. On Saturday, the checkpoint was restored, at least for the time being.

Gaza Celebrates Terror Attack - Elior Levy (Ynet News)
    Gaza residents handed out candy and sweets Saturday to celebrate the terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

Israel Demands CNN Apology over Attack Coverage - Attila Somfalvi (Ynet News)
    Israel's Government Press Office director Oren Helman sent a letter to CNN's Bureau Chief Kevin Flower saying he was astonished at the network's coverage of Saturday's terrorist attack in Itamar. A CNN website report avoided describing the event as a terror attack.
    CNN called the perpetrator an "intruder" and an "assailant," despite the IDF's official statement that forces were searching for a "terrorist."
    The BBC also referred to an "intruder," leaving readers to deduce the family members died in a failed burglary attempt.

PA TV Glorified Terrorist Who Killed 3 in 2002 Terror Attack in Itamar - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    A Palestinian Authority TV tribute to "Martyrs" three weeks ago included Ahmad Yasser, the terrorist who killed three Israelis in a 2002 terror attack in the West Bank town of Itamar, the scene of Friday's terror attack.

Thousands in Lebanon Demand Hizbullah Be Disarmed (AP-New York Times)
    Tens of thousands of supporters of Lebanon's pro-Western opposition demonstrated in Beirut on Sunday to demand that Iranian-backed Hizbullah give up its weapons.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Jewish Family Stabbed to Death in West Bank - Edmund Sanders
    A family of five, including three children, was stabbed to death Friday night in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar in the deadliest such attack since 2002. The attackers sneaked into the family's home with knives and killed the parents and children, ages 12, 3 and 3 months. Two other small children escaped harm by hiding. (Los Angeles Times)
        See also Brutal West Bank Killings Shock Israel - Edmund Sanders
    A grisly trail of toys and blood led paramedics to the first three bodies: a mother, father and their 4-month-old infant, stabbed to death in their bed. In the next room, medics say they found the body of an 11-year-old sibling. Finally, with growing dread, they reached the last bedroom, where a 4-year-old boy with knife wounds and a faint pulse was fighting for his life, ambulance workers said Saturday on Israel Radio. The medics worked frantically, but unsuccessfully, to resuscitate the toddler. (Los Angeles Times)
        See also A Massacre is a Massacre - Nahum Barnea
    The murder in Itamar is so shocking, so horrible, that it makes the debate over settlements irrelevant. Against the murderer, who pulls out a knife and butchers in cold blood three children in their sleep, the difference between Tel Aviv and Itamar is erased. (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew, 13Mar11)
        See also The Palestinian Authority Is Not Doing Enough - Dan Margalit
    What kind of monsters are growing up near Nablus that went into a house and butchered parents and their three children? They should just not say to us when the shock passes in a few years that we have to release them as part of an arrangement with the Palestinian Authority. (Yisrael Hayom-Hebrew, 13Mar11)
  • U.S. Calls on Palestinians to Condemn Israelis' Murder
    The U.S. on Saturday called on the Palestinian Authority to "unequivocally condemn" the murder of an Israeli couple and three of their young children in the West Bank. "There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home," the White House said in a statement condemning the attack. (AFP)
        See also Abbas Denounces Murders in Itamar (JTA)
  • UN Fetes New Anti-Israel Movie - Benny Avni
    The UN General Assembly is hosting a premier showing of Julian Schnabel's "Miral," a tale of the Middle East's travails through the eyes of a young Palestinian Arab girl, which has already received advanced notices as a film heavy on message but short on artistic merit. The event tomorrow is being held over the protest of Jewish organizations and Israeli officials, who had asked the General Assembly's president, Joseph Deiss of Switzerland, to cancel it. Offering one Arab tale of Israeli-committed horror after another, it ignores Arab violence against Jews. Deiss decided on his own, as president, to screen the movie at the General Assembly hall.
        Miral "has a clear political message, which portrays Israel in a highly negative light," said the president of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris. Using the General Assembly hall to screen it "will only serve to reinforce the already widespread view that Israel simply cannot expect fair treatment in the UN."  (New York Sun)
        See also Israel Protests UN Screening of Anti-Israel Film - Yitzhak Benhorin (Ynet News)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Fogel Family Laid to Rest
    20,000 people escorted the bodies of the five members of the Fogel family as they were laid to rest Sunday in Jerusalem. Speakers at the service commented how the tragedy cannot break the spirit and determination of the Jewish people to settle and live in the Land of Israel. Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon blamed the Palestinian Authority and its "education of violence." "Our neighbors' education denies our right to the land [of Israel]," teaching their children that "from the Jordan [River] to the sea, Jews have no rights [to live]." Ya'alon predicted that the murderers of the Fogel family will have city squares named after them and be honored by the PA. The members of the Fogel family who were killed included: Udi, 36, Ruth, 35, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4 and Hadas, 3 months. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also "They Won't Understand How the World Can Continue" - Melanie Lidman
    Rabbi Seth Mandell, whose son Koby was stoned to death in a terrorist attack in 2001 while hiking in the wadi behind his home in Tekoa with a friend, knows what it's like to be the family that's the subject of tragic headlines. "They won't understand how the world can continue on and how they can continue to be breathing after such a horrendous thing happened," Mandell told the Jerusalem Post on Sunday. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Itamar Residents Discuss Building New Neighborhood in Memory of Those Murdered - Yair Ettinger (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Approves 400 West Bank Housing Units in Response to Itamar Murders - Jonathan Lis and Barak Ravid
    The ministerial committee on settlement affairs voted to approve construction of 400 housing units in West Bank settlements after Friday night's terror attack in Itamar. Israel informed the U.S. of the plan before publicizing it. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Israel to Build in West Bank Settlements in Response to Slayings - Joel Greenberg
    Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu, emphasized that the new construction would be in large settlements that he said were expected to remain part of Israel in any future peace accord and that the Israeli government saw "no contradiction'' between the plan and an eventual agreement on a Palestinian state.
        In Washington, the State Department said it was "deeply concerned'' by the continuing Israeli actions in West Bank settlements. (Washington Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Why I'm Hopeful about the Middle East Uprisings - Natan Sharansky
    For decades, the free world's policy toward the Middle East was based on the desire for stability, purchased by deals struck with leaders. That the leaders were corrupt autocrats mattered little. This was rationalized by considerations of realpolitik and the comforting assertion that we had no right to judge the moral standards of societies different from our own. Some in the West have reflexively turned to other, already organized structures within the societies shaped by dictatorship: notably, the army or Islamist groups. There is another option: to see the region's democratic dissidents as our real partners. Can the democratic reformers of the Middle East be empowered to shape a better future?
        The Muslim Brotherhood is not yet strong enough to seize control and foreclose on genuine reform. Alongside the massive foreign aid the free world has committed to these lands, by insisting on clear and enforceable conditions, we can help forge the building blocks of a free society: a free press, freedom of religion, the rule of law and civil-society reform. Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, spent nine years as a political prisoner in the Soviet gulag. He is the author of The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror. (Washington Post)
  • Israel Must Retain Intelligence Advantage in Any Political Arrangement - Amir Buhbut
    In areas where Palestinians and Israelis live next to each other, the ability to prevent attacks rests primarily on high-quality intelligence that can block the establishment of terrorist infrastructure. If the intelligence community does not succeed in following the tracks of a lone terrorist or two in a locally-organized group, its chances of preventing an attack are minimal.
        This attack comes to teach us the importance of IDF control over territory and the superiority of intelligence that must be maintained in any political arrangement. Otherwise, the attack in Itamar will encourage other terrorists to attack as well. (Maariv-Hebrew, 13Mar11)

Netanyahu Blames Palestinian Incitement for Itamar Attack (Prime Minister's Office)

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the terrorist attack in Itamar, saying on Saturday night:

  • "There is no justification and there can be neither excuse nor forgiveness for the murder of children. I expect a similar condemnation, and I demand a similar condemnation, from the Palestinian Authority. I am disappointed by the weak and mumbled statements....There has never been anything like this, in which terrorists entered a home and cut children's throats."
  • "I demand that the Palestinian Authority stop the incitement that is conducted on a daily basis in their schools, mosques and the media under their control. The time has come to stop this double-talk in which the Palestinian Authority outwardly talks peace, and allows - and sometimes leads - incitement at home. The time has come to stop the incitement and begin educating their people for peace."

        See also Examples of Palestinian Authority Incitement (Prime Minister's Office)
    See also Israel: Palestinian Incitement Led to Terror Attack - Attila Somfalvi (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian incitement against Israel led to the brutal murder in Itamar. According to Yossi Kuperwasser, director general of Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the Palestinian Authority depicts Israelis "in caricatures like eastern European Jews in Der Sturmer (a Nazi propaganda newspaper), that you can justifiably attack."
  • "The events of Friday night are, in a way, an expression of the way the Palestinian Authority presents an attitude of hatred and demonization towards Israelis in general and especially towards settlers. These phenomena create a situation where it occurs to someone to carry out an attack like the appalling events in Itamar."
  • "Even today the Palestinian Authority clearly states that an armed struggle is the preferable method to 'liberating' Palestine. This was approved by the last Fatah convention which was held in Bethlehem; there has been no change on that issue."
    See also Incitement and Culture of Peace Index - Oct.-Dec. 2010 (Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs)
  • The index tracks and evaluates statements of PA leaders, and PA-sponsored school textbooks, media outlets, Internet forums, core documents, religious sermons and more.
  • One prominent example of demonization of Israelis and Jews was a new introductory sequence to a PA TV program, which depicts Palestinian prisoners in Israel being tortured with hot irons and having limbs lopped off. No Palestinian or international organization has ever accused Israel of performing such acts.
    See also PA Prepared Ground for Murders with Incessant Incitement - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik (Jerusalem Post)

    See also Why Incitement Is Ignored - Dore Gold (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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