(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was briefed during the night on the murderous incident at Itamar and has directed the IDF and security services to act in a wide-ranging and determined manner in order to apprehend the murderers. Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his deep shock at the severe terror attack, saying "this is a despicable murder of an entire innocent family, parents, children and an infant, while they were sleeping in their home on the Sabbath evening."
The Prime Minister demands from the Palestinian Authority, and from its leadership, that it assist in apprehending the murderers. "Israel will not stand by idly after such a despicable murder and will act vigorously to safeguard the lives of the citizens of Israel and punish the murderers".
PM Netanyahu holds security consultations
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently condemns the murder of an innocent family while it slept. The Prime Minister is demanding of the Palestinian Authority that it halt the incitement in the mosques and via the Palestinian Authority-controlled media.
The Prime Minister stands with the settlers during this difficult hour and said that a society that permits such wild incitement is one that eventually brings about the murder of children, and said "We all know, as do those who want to strike at us will know, that the future of the settlements will not be decided upon by terror".
The Prime Minister held consultations with the Minister of Defense, the Chief of Staff and the head of the General Security Service and ordered continued activities be conducted for the apprehension of the murderers. In addition, the Prime Minister spoke with the Foreign Minister about condemning the incitement in the Palestinian Authority and in the international arena and will hold additional consultations with the security services.
Saturday night (12 March 2011)
"I would like to express my deep outrage, outrage which is certainly felt by every Israeli over the murder of a young family - father, mother, eleven-year-old boy, four-year-old-boy and four-month-old girl. Three orphaned children have been left in this family. One of the girls saw her parents and siblings stabbed to death. The family was brutally murdered in their sleep on the Sabbath.
We embrace and support the orphans and the other members of the family. We embrace and support our brothers who reside in Judea and Samaria. Do not be disheartened. I know that this is a difficult time for us, but the entire nation is with you. Since the disaster, this awful murder, became known, I have held discussions with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief-of-Staff, Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, ISA Director Yuval Diskin and other senior security officials. I instructed them to make every effort to find the murderers and not to rest until they have been found and brought to justice.
I expect the international community to sharply and unequivocally condemn this murder, the murder of children. I have noticed that several countries that always hasten to the UN Security Council in order to condemn Israel, the state of the Jews, for planning a house in some locality, or for laying some tiles somewhere, have been dilatory in sharply condemning the murder of Jewish infants. I expect them to issue such condemnations immediately, without balances, without understandings, without justifications. 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. This is not how one condemns terrorism. This is not how one fights terrorism. See how Israeli prime ministers, myself among them, have reacted in similar situations, but there has never been anything like this, in which terrorists entered a home and cut children's throats.
This requires sharp and unequivocal condemnation. This requires something else. This requires a halt to the incitement. 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.
Despite all the awful pain, I call upon all Israelis to act responsibly, with restraint, and not to take the law into their own hands. When one takes the law into his own hands, there is no law. The IDF and the security forces will carry out their responsibilities; only they. We will not allow terrorism to determine the settlement map. The settlement map will be determined by Government policy, which is in accordance with our national interests, with security first and foremost. Terrorism will not determine the settlement map. We will determine it."
Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen Calls PM Netanyahu
On Saturday night Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen called PM Netanyahu and expressed his regret over last night's murders in Itamar. The Prime Minister stressed that such condemnations were insufficient and added that not only must the incitement stop but education for peace must begin.
Prime Minister Netanyahu added that violence had to be condemned not because it went against the PA's political interests but because morally it is unacceptable. "I expect you to stop the incitement in schools, textbooks and mosques and for you to educate your children for peace as we are doing. Murdering children in their sleep is murder for its own sake," the Prime Minister said.