“Do not say, ‘I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.’ ” (Proverbs 24:29)
Close to a month after the arrest of the members of a Hamas cell that carried out the attack that murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their four children, the interrogation transcripts of the murderers have been released. The terrorist squad consisted of Kerem Rizak, who came down to the family’s car with his weapon; Samir Koussa, the driver; and Yahia Haj Hamad, the squad leader who actually shot the victims.
The murderers related that Eitam fought one of the attackers despite his injury and even managed to take away his weapon. He was killed at point blank range. Hamad admitted to committing the murders, claiming he was avenging the attack in the village of Duma.
“I asked Smadar make a U-turn, I asked Samir to bypass the car and when he passed it I shot them with the M16. I shot 10 or 15 rounds automatically,” Hamad said. “At that moment the car stopped, and we did, too. I got out of the car, took out the empty magazine in the weapon and inserted the other one.”
Hamad continued: “I went to the woman sitting next to the driver. I opened the door to see who was sitting next to him, and then I saw the woman. The woman sat there untouched, but I saw that at that moment the man began to fight with Kerem. I fired a few shots in automatic mode. I shot at the man, who was killed on the spot, and while shooting also I shot Kerem. I was attacked by the woman and fired a few shots at her and killed her on the spot.”
“I saw inside the car three or four children. I did not shoot in their direction,” Yahya said. “Kerem tried to shoot at the Israeli man but could not. They were fighting, and, during the fight, the Israeli managed to take the gun from Kerem’s hand. At that moment I fired at Israeli man and killed him on the spot. The gun fell then. We fled and left the gun there.”
“I have no regrets and I am not sorry for the murder of these people,” Yahya said in his interrogation, “I believe the people I killed are not innocent.”
In another interrogation, he was asked why he did not shoot the children: “You said you saw the children in the back seat of the car, is that true?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Why did you not shoot them?”
He answered, “First, Islam forbids it, meaning infanticide. My personality does not allow me to kill or harm a baby.”
However, he added, “Our religion says blood for blood. So the settlers will realize that everything they do has a price. So that in the future they will think a hundred times before they do something against the Palestinians.”
Many take Yahya’s testimony regarding sparing the children with a grain of salt, suggesting it was more likely the need to flee with his injured partner that caused both of them to flee. In the Itamar massacre of 2011, Arab terrorists murdered five members of the same Jewish family, including the father, mother, and three of their six children.