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Arrests in Itamar Massacre

Two Palestinians, 18-year-old high school student Hakim Maazan Niad Awad and 19-year-old Amjad Mahmud Fauzi Awad (both “affiliated with” the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP), have been arrested for the murders on March 11 of five members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar. (The suspects are not related.) They are from the village of Awarta, which is a little over a mile from Itamar. They appear to have received a great deal of assistance from friends and family after the murders, and several accomplices have also been arrested.

The suspects have confessed to and reenacted the crime, which was premeditated. Neither has expressed remorse.

Several new details have come to light since the lifting of the gag order: the two sleeping boys (4-year-old Elad and 11-year-old Yoav) were killed first, then the parents, both of whom apparently attempted to fight off the attackers. The suspects then left the house, but one of them went back to decapitate the baby girl, Hadas (three months). According to Israel Radio, Amjad said he had not known there were two other children in the house. Had he known, he said, he would have killed them too.

UPDATE: Here are a few more details about one of the alleged killers. The 18-year-old, Hakim Awad, stabbed several “youths” in October 2010 in a personal feud. His father, Maazan, a member of the PFLP, served five years in jail for murdering a female cousin and burning her body. His uncle, Jibril Awad, also a member of the PFLP, transported a terrorist to Itamar — the same settlement where the Fogel massacre was committed — in 2002, where he shot to death the wife and three children of Itamar security officer Boaz Shevo. (Jibril has since died in a gun battle with the IDF.)