Israel will not agree to have its citizens massacred, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, following the arrest of two suspects linked to the deadly Itamar terror attack, adding that the arrest of the two Palestinian teens proved that Israel would always reach and punish those who attempt to harm its citizens.
Netanyahu's comments came after a gag order lifted earlier Sunday revealed that Israeli security forces have arrested two teenage residents of the West Bank Arab village of Awarta for allegedly carrying out last month's murder of five family members in the settlement of Itamar.
Palestinian students Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad 18, both admitted to committing the murder.
Five members of the Fogel family were brutally stabbed to death in their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar on the night of March 11th. The murderers killed Ehud and Ruth Fogel, along with three of their young children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months old, before fleeing the scene.
The two suspects, who are unrelated to one another, were identified as members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine along with several members of their family.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the replacement of Israel's Prison Service's Chief, Netanyahu said Sunday that, while he did not expect the arrest would lift the Fogel family's spirits, it was nonetheless evidence that "we won't accept the massacre of our own people."
"We will find the murderers, and our hand will reach out to cut off theirs," the premier said, adding that security forces strove to "ensure that the evidence was complete, not just regarding the murderers themselves, but also those who assisted them."
"We don't know if arresting the killers provides a complete answer, but without it even a partial one is impossible," the prime minister added.
According to the lifted gag order on Sunday, six additional Palestinian suspects from Awad were also arrested in connection to the crime, four of whom belong to the same family.
The six purportedly aided the two alleged perpetrators in hiding the murder weapon and in suppressing additional evidence.
One of the six is a member of the Popular Front organization whom the suspects supposedly asked for a weapon to carry out a terror attack.
Another one of the six is a resident of Ramallah at whose home the murder weapon was hidden.
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