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The Itamar Massacre (11 March 2011) Investigation

Background

  • Two other children – Roi (8) and Yishai (2 and a half) who slept in the house, were not harmed.
  • The elder sister, Tamar (12) arrived at home around 00:30 and found the door locked, contrary to her agreement with her parents to leave it unlocked.
  • ISA, Israeli police and IDF launched a joint investigation to uncover the perpetrators.
  • Throughout the investigation dozens of suspects were detained for interrogation from the village of Awarta, 2 km south-west of Itamar.
  • The intelligence, operational and investigative efforts have led to the detention of two youths of the Awarta village, who have admitted to premeditating and committing the murders; they have also reconstructed the events.

 

 

 

 

The Perpetrators

Hakim Mazen Niaz Awad

 

  • Born on June 1, 1993; he is a minor according to Israeli law. A resident of Awarta; had been detained on April 5, 2011.
  • A high-school student, affiliated with PFLP.
  • In October 2010 he was involved in a stabbing of two youths from his village on grounds of personal dispute.
  • Hakim's father, Mazen, had been a PFLP activist in the late 90's and served a 5 year sentence in a PA prison due to the murder of his cousin and the cremating of her body.
  • Hakim's uncle, Jibril Awad, a military PFLP activist who was killed in December 2003 after clashing with IDF troops, had been involved in the Itamar terror attack in June 2002, killing four members of the Shabo family: a mother and three children (aged 15, 12 and 5), as well as the local security guard.

 

Amjad Mohammad Fawzi Awad

  • Born on July 12, 1992; a resident of Awarta; had been detained on April 10, 2011.
  • A student affiliated with PFLP.
  • Formerly worked as a laborer in Israel.


 

The two perpetrators admitted to the following:

 

  • The two assailants premeditated the murders in Itamar several days prior to its execution. As part of their preparations they tried to acquire firearms. They turned to a PFLP activist in their village, Mohammad Said Awad (detained) asking him to purchase weapons for them, yet he failed to deliver.
  • On the night of the attack, Friday, March 11, 2011, the two set for Itamar, equipped with knives, shears for cutting the perimeter fence and hoods for veiling their faces.
  • The two walked from Awarta to Itamar's perimeter fence (about one km), climbed and skipped over it.
  • Once inside the village, they climbed up the hill through the bushes about 400m, reaching the first row of houses.
  • They first broke into the house next door to the Fogel family home, which was empty at the time, and stole an M-16 rifle, magazines and a bullet-proof vest.
  • Armed with the stolen weapons, they penetrated into the Fogel house.
  • Prior to their entrance into the house, the two killers noticed through the window that children are in the house. Immediately after entering the house, the two terrorists killed 14 year old Yoav and 4 year old Elad.
  • After killing the children, the murderers turned to the room where the parents slept with the baby-girl Hadas, 3 months old.
  • The parents were murdered while trying to struggle with the two murderers               who used weapons stolen from the first house and knives.
  • After murdering the parents and prior to escaping to their village, the two terrorists stole an M-16 found in the Fogel house. At this stage they also murdered with knife stabs the baby-girl Hadas (3 month old) who had slept in her parents' bed.
  • After completing the attack, the two murderers returned by foot to their village. They went to the house of Hakim's uncle, Salah Aldin Awad, PFLP activist, former detainee and recounted the details of the attack they have just committed.
  • Salah assisted the two murderers to hide the stolen weapons and the knives used to commit the murder. In addition, Salah helped the two burn their clothes which were stained with the victims' blood, members of the Fogel family.
  • Following the attack, the murderers resumed their daily routine until their arrest.
  • Hakim's uncle, Salah, transferred the weapons stolen in Itamar to Jad Abid, resident of Ramallah who hid them in his house.
  • On April 14 Jad Abid was arrested and the two weapons were found in his house.

 

Additional interrogees
The investigation revealed extensive involvement of the murderers' family relatives and close friends who were aware of the murder and assisted the perpetrators following the attack.

 

 

 

 

Suspected facilitators and individuals suspected of awareness:
• Salah Aldin Salim Awad – born in 1979, PFLP activist, Hakim's uncle.
• Hasan Salim Awad – born in 1972, PFLP activist, Hakim's uncle.
• Mazen Niaz Awad – born in 1967, PFLP activist, Hakim's father.
• George Mazen Awad – born in 1990, PFLP activist, a student, Hakim's brother.
• Jad Jawad Abid – born in 1979, Salah Awad's friend who hid the weapons for Salah.
• Mohammad Said Awad, born in 1984, PFLP activist who was asked to provide the perpetrators with weapons.

 

 

Summary
• The murder of the Fogel family was a premeditated attack.
• The murderers, Hakim and Amjad, are identified with PFLP; they received assistance and support from their close environment.
• The attack was solved following intensive joint efforts of ISA, Israeli Police and IDF.
• The investigation is on-going aiming to reveal all relevant details pertaining to this case.

                              
                                 
 
On Friday, March 11, 2011, at about 22:00 hours, five members of the Fogel family had been murdered in Itamar: the parents – Ehud and Ruth, and three of their little children – Yoav (11), Elad (4) and Hadas (3 months old).