In a cornerstone-laying ceremony Sunday, hundreds of Israeli settlers gathered to commemorate the night one month ago when five members of a family, including a baby, were stabbed to death in their beds in Itamar settlement. Although no one has yet been charged with the crime, Israeli settlers blame Palestinians, on whose land Itamar is built, and marked the event by declaring an expansion of the Itamar settlement further onto Palestinian land.While the ceremony took place, and through the night, the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta was placed under curfew â€“ all residents were required to remain in their homes, and Israeli troops went house to house breaking down doors and ransacking homes.
According to local sources, the soldiers broke sinks, furniture and water pipes, and spilled motor oil all over one storeâ€™s merchandise. No abductions were made.
On several occasions over the past few weeks since the murders took place, Israeli troops have placed the village of Awarta and other Palestinian towns under house arrest, and rounded up all the men of the towns. Troops abducted dozens of young men and boys, and have held them for interrogation, without charges, for weeks.
The new building on which construction has started in Itamar settlement has been named after the father of the family which was killed, Ehud Fogel, according to a settlement spokesperson.