"There can be no justification for such a heinous crime, but the shocking case should turn on serious warning signals," the MK wrote on his Facebook page. "This represents the bottom to which poverty deteriorates people. I urge the Israeli government to think again before it implements the brutal budget that could push thousands of families beyond the poverty line."
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The Shas party chair registered his deep shock from the act, especially its motive. "Few thousand shekels, this was what made the difference between life and death of innocents in a monstrous crime," he wrote.
Opposition Leader Shelly Yachimovich (Labor), however, wrote that she refused on principle to link the murder to economic policies and said she rejected a number of proposals to give a speech to that effect in the Knesset on Sunday. She added one mustn't provide as much as a hint of moral justification to the heinous crime. Doing so, she emphasized, amounts to blurring the boundaries between good and evil.
"Itamar Alon perpetrated a brutal, violent and inhuman massacre of innocents, leaving behind deep suffering and bereavement," Yachimovich wrote on her own Facebook page. "Yesterday I had bitter disputes with those closest to me who asked me to come up on the parliamentary rostrum and make the link between the murder and the increasing poverty.
"Well, there is a proven link between poverty and deterioration into crime, but it should not obscure the fact that the individual too, not just the state, has a responsibility for his or her actions," the opposition leader noted.
Four dead, one still in hospital
Relatives and friends of Monday's bank shooting victims gathered in front of the bank Tuesday, to pay tribute to the four people who were murdered by Itamar Alon Monday before he took his own life.
Paying tribute to victims (Photo: Ido Erez)
The victims were the bank manager Avner Cohen, 44, his deputy Meir Zitun, 44, Anat Even-Haim, 34, and Idan Sabri, 22.
The man who sustained serious injuries after Alon had shot him has been stabilized in the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. The hospital chief of trauma, Prof. Gadi Shaked, said that he had undergone surgery and is still treated for the four gunshot wounds he took to the back and the abdomen. His condition is still considered serious.
According to a preliminary investigation, police say that the four murders could not have been prevented.
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