WASHINGTON D.C. ““ In response to the knife attack Saturday morning in Itamar that killed 5 members of an Israeli family, including three children, in their sleep, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism issued the following statement:
We condemn in the strongest of terms the senseless massacre of an innocent Israeli family in their sleep. The thought of a knife slaughter which included victims, ages eleven, four and three-months is sickening to us. There is no place in this world, or in the struggle for peace in the Middle East, for this sort of violence.
We pray for the three surviving children in the family, all under the age of 12, who are left without their parents and siblings. No child should ever be forced to go through what these children are undoubtedly going through and
our hearts go out to them and all members of the community of Itamar.
We welcome the condemnations of the attacks by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. We urge them to follow-through on their statements with actions that bring the perpetrators to justice and strongly reinforce the message that violence like this will not be tolerated by the Palestinian leadership. Further, we support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to safeguard the citizens of Israel and punish the murderers.
We call for swift justice for the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of Fatah, which claimed responsibility for the attack, characterizing it as a “heroic operation.” This sort of blatant disregard for the value of human life is appalling and we hope that together the Israelis and the Palestinians will work to ensure that this violence remains an isolated incident and does not escalate.