The Yesha Council of settlements released on Sunday graphic images of the family that was killed in a terror attack Friday night, saying it decided on the unusual move "to show the inhuman character of the murderers."
The photographs, which were released for publication locally and internationally, show the bodies of the Fogel family members on the floor and on a blood-drenched bed. They were taken a short time after the bodies of five members of the family - two boys aged 11 and 4, a newborn girl and their parents - were discovered stabbed to death in their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.
Yehuda Meshi Zahav, who heads the Zaka rescue and recovery service, condemned the decision to release the images.
"For all the sorrow and pain, and for all the will to show the atrocity of the murder, we must preserve the dignity of the dead and individual privacy," he said.
The Yesha Council blurred the victims' faces and got relatives' permission before releasing the photographs. Major international news agencies rejected the photos, however, because they do not accept blurred images.
"We realize that such a shocking murder of children needs to be clear and unequivocal on the visual level as well," said Yesha Council spokesman Roni Arazi. "They were released with the knowledge that this is something unusual, but also with the knowledge that this should have happened a long time ago. We're in the midst of war, and in a war, you use the tools of war."
The Yesha Council also released a video based on the photos and posted it on YouTube, but the video-sharing site removed it a short time later, saying it doesn't meet the site's standards.
It has since been reposted to a Yesha Council-affiliated website, MyIsrael.org.il.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now