Two Palestinians Confess to Murdering Fogel Family

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Two Palestinian teenagers confessed to murdering five members of the Fogel family on March 11, Army Radio reported on Sunday after investigators lifted the gag order.

Details of the month-long, joint investigation, carried out by the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), were released Sunday, along with the names of the suspects: Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad, 18, both residents of the Arab village of Awarta.

According to the report, neither teen expressed remorse at having slashed and stabbed to death Udi and Ruth Fogel, 36 and 35, respectively, and three of their five children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months.

During questioning, both said they made no distinction between the adults and children they murdered and would have killed the two surviving Fogel children if they had noticed them.

Click here for a brief statement by Col. Nimrod Aloni, commander of the Shomron Regional Brigade.

Both suspects come from families affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), though investigators believe they carried out the attack of their own volition. Both said they wanted to murder Israeli Jews and were content with dying as shahids (martyrs for the cause of Allah).

Six residents of Awarta - four from the same family - have confessed to aiding the two youths by burning their blood-stained clothing, hiding the murder weapon and the rifles they stole before and after the attack.

Following the massacre, the two teens resumed their normal activities, one returning to high school and the other to his academic pursuits.

IDF spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich issued the following statement:

"The murders of five family members, including a three-month-old baby, constitute a clear war crime and a crossing of all red lines The IDF has invested in numerous operational and intelligence efforts and has worked closely with other security bodies in order to find those responsible for this vicious murder," the statement read.

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