Itamar Fogel murder arrests continue

By Simon Griver, April 14, 2011

The IDF arrested dozens of Palestinians in the village of Awarta this week but has yet to charge any with last month's brutal murder of Ehud and Ruth Fogel and their three young children in the nearby Jewish village of Itamar.

But Israel's security forces believe they are on the brink of a breakthrough in finding the killers.

Palestinian villagers claimed that the murderers came from elsewhere, and the head of the Awarta village council, Kayes Awad, insisted that the IDF's actions were part of Israel's expansionist policies. He said: "They want our land to open a road around the village, and their military operation is just finding reasons to do that."

Residents of Itamar are also angry because they are being kept in the dark about progress in the murder investigation.

Uziel Damari, head of Itamar's emergency response force, said: "When the public knows nothing we have a problem. Everything is rumours, although we understand there is an important intelligence operation that can be harmed."

On Sunday, Itamar marked the end of the 30-day mourning period by laying the cornerstone for a Talmud study centre named for Ehud Fogel.

Last updated: 10:34am, June 6 2011