Victims of Palestinian Terror Attack Laid to Rest

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JERUSALEM, Israel - In a classic response to Friday's brutal terror attack on an Israeli family in the settlement of Itamar, the Jewish state approved the construction of 500 news homes in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). 

Saturday's decision came 24 hours after Udi Fogel, 36, and his wife, Ruth, 35, and three of their children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 3, and Hadas, three months, were stabbed to death by Palestinian militants in their home.

"They murder, we build," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday during a condolence call to the grieving family.

Meanwhile, 20,000 mourners attended funerals in Jerusalem on Sunday for the five slain members of the Fogel family.

The Fogels were laid to rest in Jerusalem's Givat Shaul cemetary.

Click play to watch CBN News Jerusalem Correspondent Julie Stahl's report.

At the funeral, Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau asked, "What can you say when you see a three-month-old baby stabbed to death? What do you say?"

"We will not bend, we will not give up. We returned to the land of our fathers and it is our home," he said.

Strategic Affairs Minister and Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon said the Palestinian Authority would recognize the murderers as heroes, name city squares after them, and "they will be honored by [Palestinian] schools," he said, adding that "such acts are routine with our neighbors."

"As long as this murderous education persists, as long as the leadership's wild incitement continues, any [peace] agreement we sign will not be worth the paper it is written on," he said.

"We need to continue what our fathers did. We have never given up our right to this land," Ya'alon said. "Anyone who gives up this right won't have security either," he said.

The Murders

Officials believe the terrorists entered the Fogel's home around 10:30 p.m. on Friday evening. They had infiltrated Itamar, a small Jewish community southeast of Nablus (biblical Shechem), by cutting through the security fence.

Apparently, they didn't see the six-year-old boy asleep on the couch and went to the master bedroom where they slashed the throats of the father and the youngest child, a three-month-old girl.

Their next victim was the mother, stabbed to death as she came out of the bathroom. From there, they slashed the throat of the 11-year-old boy reading in bed. They failed to notice the two year old asleep in his bed, instead killing the three year old by stabbing him twice in the heart.

They locked the front door before leaving the same way they had entered.

The couple's 12-year-old daughter found the front door locked when she came home so she went next door to ask for help. The neighbor grabbed his weapon and they entered through the window and woke up the six year old. After unlocking the front door, he left, thinking everthing was alright.

It wasn't. The daughter opened the bedroom doors and ran out of the house screaming for help.

Massive Search Launched 

The Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police arrived and launched a massive search for the attackers. Around 3:30 a.m., IDF trackers discovered footprints leading to the Arab village of Avrata. 

Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi, IDF Central Command chief, described the murders as "despicable" and "cowardly."

"This was a very harsh terror attack," Mizrachi said. "A whole family was wiped out by despicable, cowardly murderers who came in the dead of night and killed innocent children, a woman and a man as they slept."

The al-Aksa Martyr's Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Authority's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Response to P.A.'s Statement

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement Saturday saying he rejected and condemned "all violence directed against civilians, regardless of who was behind it or the reason for it." 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the P.A.'s response to the murders in a televised press conference, saying that is "not the way you condemn terror; that's not the way you fight terror."

Netanyahu called on the Palestinian Authority to end incitement to terror in its schools, media and mosques.

The White House press secretary also called on the Palestinian Authority "to unequivocally condemn" the attack.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of five Israelis in a terrorist attack in the northern West Bank, and we offer oru condolences to their loved ones and to the Israeli people. There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home. We call on the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack and for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be held accountable," the statement read.

Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan told reporters at the scene there were no words to "describe the extent of the horror and pain," Dayan said terrorists don't "shy away from any tactic and any Jewish victims, regardless of how young they are."

"The time has come for the government to regain its senses and start backing up the settlement enterprise, which remains vulnerable on the front lines," Dayan said.

Wake-up Call

Likud MK Danny Danon hoped the horrific murder might serve a wakeup call for the "international community."

"Now maybe the international community, which condemns us all the time, will understand who we are dealing with here," he said.

"In every peace agreement they want us to sign, they need to understand who is on the other side," Danon said.

In 2002, a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated Itamar and shot dead a young mother and three of her seven children and the head of the local security team.

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AP and YNet news contributed to this report.

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