Horror in Samaria: A terrorist infiltrated the West Bank settlement of Itamar, southeast of Nablus, early Saturday and stabbed five family members to death.
The shocking attack occurred around 1 am as the terrorist entered the family home and murdered three children aged 11, 3, and a baby girl along with their parents. The victims were apparently sleeping as the killer came in.
Itamar residents reported that shots were heard in the area; the terrorist managed to flee the scene.
Ambulance in Itamar (Photo: Ido Erez)
Three other children at the home, a 12-year-old girl and her two brothers, aged 6 and 2, were able to escape to a nearby house and inform their neighbors of the attack.
The terrorist who carried out the massacre cut the fence surrounding Itamar and entered the home of the victims through the window, an initial probe of the murder showed. Authorities could not immediately discount the possibility that more than one attacker was involved in the murder.
Following an initial report of the incident, large IDF and police forces rushed to the site. The Air Force also joined the effort to track down the terrorist, deploying numerous aircraft in the area. The night’s sky was lit up with flares, as special IDF and police forces were called in to assist in the manhunt.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said “troops are scouring the area in search of the suspect. The IDF is performing inspections at all crossing points set up in the region.”
IDF troops near Itamar (Photo: Ido Erez)
Magen David Adom ambulance service teams pronounced the victims dead at the scene. MDA spokesman Zaki Heller said the ambulance service got a call around 1 am and dispatched large teams of paramedics to the area.
“When rescue forces entered the house they encountered a very difficult sight...There were five people there who were hurt. We could do nothing but pronounce them dead,” he said.
Paramedic Kabaha Muayua was among the first responders at the site and described the horrific scene he encountered.
“We could not help the first four stab victims. Following an inspection of the scene I spotted an infant of about three who still had a pulse. We engaged in lengthy resuscitation efforts but had to pronounce him dead,” he said. “The murder scene was shocking. Kids’ toys right next to pools of blood.”
Paramedic Gil Moscowitz, who serves as MDA’s director of operations, said teams dispatched to the home discovered “parents and three children who were brutally murdered.”
“The parents were lying next to each other in their room…we found three bodies in the master bedroom; the two parents and a baby,” he said.
Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan, who arrived at the site, appeared shocked by the brutal attack.
“This is no doubt one of the most terrible attacks in recent years," he told the reporters on hand.
“Words cannot describe the extent of the horror and pain,” he said. “Those tempted to think that the Palestinians ceased their acts of murder see that they do not shy away from any tactic and any Jewish victims, regardless of how young they are.”
“The time has come for the government to regain its senses and start backing up the settlement enterprise, which remains vulnerable on the frontlines,” he said.
The settlement of Itamar, which is surrounded by Palestinian villages, has been the site of murderous attacks in the past. In June of 2002, a terrorist entered the community and opened fire, killing Rachel Shabo and three of her seven children, Neriya, Tzvika, and Avishai. Yossi Twito, who commanded the local security team at the settlement, was also shot to death in the attack.