JERUSALEM – Two teenagers from the Israeli town of Awarta were arrested last week and charged with the murder of five members of the Fogel family in the West Bank town of Itamar in March, following an intensive joint investigation by the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Israeli police and the Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency.
The teens, 18-year-old Hakem Awwad and 19-year-old Amjad Awad, who are not related, reportedly admitted to the murders, expressed no remorse and offered a dispassionate, detailed account of their crime. According to Shin Bet findings, the two carried out the crime based on their own convictions and without direction by any specific political or terrorist organization. Six of the men’s friends and family members have been remanded on suspicion of involvement in the murders.
“The murders of five family members including a three-month baby constitute a clear war crime and a crossing of all red lines,” said IDF spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich. ”
According to Ynet News, Awwad said he went to Itamar to “die a martyr’s death.” His father was active in the Popular Front terror organization. His uncle, who was killed in clashes with IDF forces in 2003, was involved in a June 2002 terror attack in Itamar, which left five dead. Amjad Mahmad Awad is affiliated with the Popular Front. A town of approximately 800 residents Awarta is known as a breeding ground for terrorists.