Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing the Palestinians of creating an atmosphere of incitement that led to the brutal killing of five family members
in a West Bank community Saturday.
At least one terrorist infiltrated the settlement of Itamar early Saturday and proceeded to murder two parents and three of their children, aged 11, 3 and two months, in their sleep.
"A society that permits such wild incitement ends up prompting the murder of children," the PM said Saturday following the horrific attack.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said Netanyahu condemns the murder of the innocent Itamar family and demands that the Palestinian Authority put an end to incitement at mosques and in the media.
"Netanyahu is encouraging the settlers at this difficult time…everyone knows - and those who came to hurt us will also know – that the future of the settlement enterprise will not be decided by terror," the statement said.
The prime minister held consultations Saturday with the defense minister, IDF chief of staff and Shin Bet director and instructed them to capture the killers. Netanyahu also spoke with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the two agreed that the Foreign Ministry will aim to elicit global condemnations against the PA.
Earlier, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki condemned the attack, but questioned Israel's assertion that the Palestinians were being the murder.
"No Palestinian in the past killed an infant and butchered people in such way based on a nationalistic or vengeful motive," he said. "This raises doubt as to Israel's rush to accuse the Palestinians of committing this act."
Meanwhile, the United States condemned the attack and urged the PA to unequivocally do the same.
"There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home. We call on the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack," the White House said in a statement.
Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to the report