The body of 18-year-old soldier Dvir Sorek was found with multiple stab wounds last Thursday on the side of a road near the seminary where he studied as part of a program which combines Torah studies with military service. He was neither armed nor in uniform. The two Palestinians suspected in Sorek's murder had been arrested on Friday after an extensive manhunt.
"They have an exemplary family, we saw the children, the love for each other, the love of Israel and of their fellow man is ingrained in them," said Netanyahu at the Sorek family home in the settlement of Ofra in the West Bank. "And here, a terrible and shocking tragedy has struck. We saw this innocent youth, who was entirely pure, viciously murdered," he added.
"We are determined to defend our homeland. These are not vain words – they are true words, until our enemies understand that we cannot be uprooted from anywhere in the Land of Israel, including from this place.
"We will continue spreading roots and fighting to the extent that it proves necessary, and to my regret, it is necessary," said the prime minister.
Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, who accompanied the prime minister said her heart is “aching” but Israelis will continue to defend themselves “here in our country.”
"We are not in the death pits. Dvir's grandfather survived the Holocaust which befell our people and our families. Then we were slaughtered and murdered and were defenseless. Today we defend ourselves," she said.
The soldier’s father, Yoav Sorek, said earlier they are not celebrating Dvir’s birthday but rather commemorating it as it falls on the week-long mourning period known as Shiva.
“When Dvir was born, his brit milah (a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony) was at the same synagogue where his funeral proceedings began,” said the father. “And in the backyard of our house we’re now sitting shiva.”