Natan Zada's Friends From Kfar Tapuah: Killings Were No Passing Fancy

Two of the three minors arrested on suspicion of having knowledge of Eden Natan Zada's intention to carry out a terrorist attack are said to be from a family of Kahane supporters living in the settlement of Kfar Tapuah. Two of the three study at yeshivas in the northern West Bank and one recently graduated from a high school yeshiva in the Jerusalem area.

One of the boys, who spoke with Haaretz Thursday night before he was arrested, said, "If he decided to do what he did, it was after consideration and not because of a passing urge or depression, but for ideological reasons."

Natan Zada's friends said he told them he was going to end his AWOL status by getting himself arrested in Gush Katif, while in possession of his rifle. Natan Zada has reportedly been arrested twice in the past for desertion, and according to his friends, he thought that if he were arrested again, he would be kicked out of the army.

Contrary to reports over the weekend, Natan Zada did not study at the yeshiva in Kfar Tapuah, which has closed down. He was a frequent visitor to the settlement.

Most of the residents of Kfar Tapuah are unconnected with Kahane supporters, who number about 10 percent of its population. The residents are mainly people of Yemenite descent, a group of converted Peruvians and a few Habad Hasidim.

The settlement is identified with the outlawed Kahane movement because a number of the movement's leaders are current residents or have lived there in the past, including Binyamin Zeev Kahane, who was killed along with his wife Talia in a terrorist shooting near the community in 2001, and David Haivri of the Revava movement.

The Kfar Tapuah secretariat, which on Friday condemned the murders in Shfaram, said that it would not permit the burial of Natan Zada in the settlement, since he was not a resident. However, Natan Zada's friends said if his family wanted him buried in Kfar Tapuah, they would see to it.

Kach activists proposed to the family that Natan Zada be buried in Hebron near Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Moslem worshipers there in 1994. However, Natan Zada's family wants the burial to take place in a cemetery near their Rishon Letzion home.