Large police forces deployed throughout the West Bank Sunday morning for fear of possible "price-tag" activities by settlers in response to the murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar over the weekend.
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Police fear settlers will try to avenge the murders following the funeral of Udi Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and three-month-old Hadas, which is scheduled to be held in Jerusalem at 1:30 pm.
Residents of Hebron said some 100 police officers have already deployed in and around the West Bank city's Jewish quarter, as well as near Arab neighborhoods and Kiryat Arba. Police and army forces have also been deployed in major intersections across the West Bank - particularly in areas where settlers and Palestinians frequently clash, such as Yitzhar, Itamar, Bracha and Havat Gilad.
IDF forces and Shin Bet security service personnel continued to operate overnight Sunday near the Palestinian village of Awarta, located near Itamar, as part of the efforts to track down the terrorists who murdered the five Fogel family members. It is estimated that at least two terrorists took part in the massacre.
Haim Fogel, Udi Fogel's father and grandfather of the three children murdered in the Itamar terror attack, told journalists: "We will not forgive or forget. Life goes on and the heart tends to forget, but this isn't the first heinous murder. Our dead join hundreds of our nation's dead. Another killed and another and everyone continues with their daily routine.
"How long will we stay silent? When will we stop groveling? When will the nation wake up and tell the government no more, when will our enemies get what they deserve? But we don't turn ourselves to acts of vengeance. God will avenge the spilled blood of his servant," he added.
Meanwhile, Palestinian stone-throwing in the West Bank continues. An Israeli vehicle travelling near Shilo was hit by a stone, but no injuries were reported. As of 10:30 am, Palestinian traffic along main highways across the West Bank remains scarce, this after the Palestinian Authority urged residents to avoid central thoroughfares for fear of settler reprisals.
Itamar settlement (Photo: George Ginsburg)
West Bank settlers blocked a junction in the Gush Etzion area Saturday evening and hurled stones at Palestinians to protest the Itamar terror attack, which claimed the lives of five Israelis.
Several settlers were detained by police and IDF forces called to the scene.
Elsewhere, rightist activists blocked an intersection near Psagot, on Highway 60. Palestinian residents said settlers from the Bat Ayin community took part in the protest and that police forces hurled teargas grenades at Arabs at the site.
In another case, Palestinians reported that settlers entered the village of Hawara and hurled stones at residents.
Yoav Zitun contributed to the report
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