Over 500 worshippers came to pray at the burial site, for the annual celebration. The visit was organized by the One Shechem organization and the Shomron Regional Council and was coordinated with and accompanied by IDF forces.
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When the worshippers arrived at the burial site they discovered that the tombstone of Elazar son of Aharon the high priest had been desecrated and spray painted with abusive slogans in Arabic that praise Hakim Awad, the man who murdered five members of the Fogel family, including three month old baby Hadas Fogel. Awad was recently sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.
The worshippers and IDF forces covered the slogans with white paint. This is not the first time that the tombstones have been desecrated and worshippers noted that according to agreements, it is the Palestinian Authority's responsibility to safeguard the holy places.
Head of Shomron Regional Council Gershon Mesika thanked the Samaria brigade commander and IDF officers for protecting the worshippers but expressed his shock at the desecration.
"If anybody needed further proof of the murderous barbarity of our enemies, let him look at the abusive slogans and graffiti on Elazar's tomb which glorify the murderer responsible for the Itamar massacre.
"We hope that the government will come to its senses and reconnect with the heritage of Elazar, Itamar and the 70 elders who led the Israeli nation during the time of the conquest."
Last week, the murderer Awad received praise and congratulations on the Palestinian state-run station called "For You," which focuses on Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. Awad's mother and aunt went on the air during the show. His mother said: "I send my blessings to my dearest Hakim, the apple of my eye."
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