Tal Tamari, widow of Meir Tamari who was killed in a shooting attack near the Hermesh settlement where he was a resident, said Thursday that the terror attack could have been prevented if the military checkpoint where the attack occurred had been operational.
"This attack could have been avoided. There is no reason for us to leave the house and not return to it in our own country. There used to be operational checkpoints, and the attack happened right next to one of them – which is no longer active. If it was functional, Meir would be here today and I would have a husband, a life partner," she said tearfully while holding onto her two young children – a one-year-old and a three-year-old.
Since the attack occurred, tensions have been running high in the West Bank. Settlers argue that manned checkpoints can prevent attacks, especially those located just a few meters away from the attack site, from which the terrorists managed to escape. Widow Tal Tamari has called on the government and the Israel Defense Forces to reinstate the checkpoints, saying: "This is an unacceptable reality. It is illogical. We need to live in security, and everything must be done to achieve that."
At the junction leading to the access road of the Har Bracha settlement, there is a temporary military checkpoint manned by soldiers for only a few hours a day and not continuously. During the time of the attack, it was empty. The IDF has stated that, in Tamari's case, the presence of soldiers would not have been able to prevent the incident, as the shooting was carried out from a passing vehicle.
Tal, who chose to bring her two children with her to their father's funeral on Wednesday, explained what motivated her decision.
"It was clear to me that they would be there, and we would be together. It's natural that they would also say goodbye to their father, even though it's not natural at all. It was important to me that they say goodbye to him," she recounted.
"He was the best father that could be. He loved them, lived for them, for us, and for the family. Meir was a loving father who would sit with the children, lie down with them on the floor, and play with them after a day of work. They were so important to him," she said.
She promised to tell her children many stories about their father. "I will share the experiences we had together, and how much he loved them, how amazing he was – a good person with a good heart. They will see his photos and see his qualities within themselves. I will raise them to know him in the best way possible."
Tal concluded: "It is our natural right to be here, in our land. Terrorists sanctify death, and we sanctify life. We will continue to sanctify life and establish more settlements. We will continue to raise children and live here with love for one another, and cherish every moment to love. That's what we did in our home."
"The life we had together was supposed to thrive," she also said. "Only four years of marriage. It's the tip of the iceberg. Life was cruelly taken from us. My children were robbed of their father, robbed of the right to grow by his side and receive from him what he had to give, but he will accompany them in every moment of their lives."