Yossi Klein Halevi

Tonight, during dinner at a vegetarian restaurant in Little Jerusalem, Yossi Klein Halevi, a journalist and fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, opened his speech to a group of journalism students with the jarring news that five Israeli family members were stabbed to death while asleep in their home in Itamar, a Jewish settlement camp near Nablus in the West Bank.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“A grisly trail of toys and blood led paramedics to the first three bodies: a mother, father and their 4-month-old infant, stabbed to death in their bed. In the next room, medics say they found the body of an 11-year-old sibling. Finally, with growing dread, they reached the last bedroom, where a 4-year-old boy with knife wounds and a faint pulse was fighting for his life, ambulance workers said Saturday on Israel Radio. The medics worked frantically, but unsuccessfully, to resuscitate the toddler.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of the Palestinian Fatah movement, has claimed responsibility for the killing.

In the clip above, we share Klein Halevi’s response to this attack and his analysis of its impact on relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction on March 21, 2011: an earlier version of this article linked to a Haaretz article as the source of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claim. It no longer contains that statement so we have linked to The Jersulem Post, which confirms this claim.

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Having just seen the film Budrus and the heroic efforts on the part of cooperating non-violent Palestinians and Israelis this news is heart-rending. The world over must weep and continue working to support those who have lost their loved ones either Jewish or Palestinian.

Excuse me, but there is nothing whatsoever in the Haaretz story you link saying anything whatsoever about al-Aqsa or anyone else claiming responsibility for this terrible crime. I've been following this story since it broke, not just on various "general" sources, but also Haaretz, Al Jazeera, and Ma'an, and to my knowledge all state clearly that no one has "claimed" this crime. It has also been noted that there was no sign of any entrance through the considerable security apparatus 'protecting' this settlement, thereby making for a higher likelihood of one or more settlers present having committed the crime. I'm shocked that "On Being" would effectively foment anti-Palestinian feelings with false information, and not all all in keeping with this site's ostensible purpose of instead fomenting peace!

At the time of publication, the Haaretz story included this claim by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. You are correct that it is not part of the story any longer, but The Jerusalem Post published this claim: "Palestinian media on Saturday reported that a faction of Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Itamar which five family members were stabbed to death."

Depending on the news source and the strange evolution of the story, I've seen several claims being made. Shortly before we returned from Israel on Friday, there was conjecture that it might've been a Thai immigrant worker, but that has not been proven. It's all very unwieldy and hard to confirm, which is why it is just as dangerous to posit that it may have been a neighbor within the settlement.

And, if you been reading this blog over the past two weeks, I am certain you'd agree that we are anything but anti-Palestinian or anti-Israeli. Read for yourself. Our body of work stands on its own merits.

Thanks for calling my attention to the deleted reference so that I can source.

Len, I read a similar story in the LA Times yesterday. It's tragic. Absolutely tragic.

The JPost "confirmation" is not a confirmation, just an early and erroneous report.  What happened to the old rule of confirming a piece of information via two independent and reliable sources?  In fact, Israel finally arrested two teenagers from a neighboring village who, they claim, concocted the crime at the last minute one evening.  See April articles here: http://www.haaretz.com/news/di...  and http://www.kabobfest.com/2011/...