Bloodied toys, smell of death after Itamar slaughter

Volunteers clean up the home of the murdered family

Volunteers clean up the home of the murdered family

Rescue volunteers have described seeing toys and clothes lying in pools of blood at the home of the Israeli family brutally murdered on Friday night.

Five members of the Fogel family, including a three-month-old baby girl and two other children were stabbed as they slept on Shabbat.

Three other children were left orphaned after the attack in the West bank town of Itamar, allegedly perpetrated by a member of the Fatah-linked terrorist group the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

The killings were discovered by 12-year-old Tamar Fogel. Volunteers from Israel’s emergency clean-up organisation ZAKA, who arrived on the scene shortly after she raised the alert, said what they witnessed was “absolutely horrific” and “among the worst we have ever seen”.

Gil Bismot, a regional commander for ZAKA, said: “The images were absolutely horrific – a slaughter of innocent children in their home.”

Another volunteer added: "We saw toys lying next to pools of blood, Shabbat clothes covered in blood , and everywhere the smell of death mixing with the aroma of the Shabbat meal.”

The funerals took place on Sunday. The family had previously lived in the Jewish settlement of Gush Katif, but had to leave when Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

In the wake of the tragedy the Israeli government approved the construction of between 300 and 500 new homes in the West Bank.

Last updated: 10:49am, March 15 2011