Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein hosts foreign journalists on a tour of Itamar and calls upon journalists to “see and judge with your own eyes”. Samaria, Israel. 19th January 2012
Itamar is a predominantly Orthodox Jewish community with a population of 100 families, within the municipal jurisdiction of the Shomron Regional Council. Under the terms of the Oslo Accords of 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Itamar was designated Area "C" under full Israeli civil and security control. The community of Itamar largely relies on growth of organic crops, sheep, goats, and a range of products such as cheese and olive oil.
On the night of March 11th 2011 five members of the Fogel family were killed in their sleep in the settlement; father Udi Fogel (36), mother Ruth Fogel (35), and their children Yoav (11), Elad (4), and Hadas (3 months). Two Palestinian cousins, ages 18 and 19, from the village of Awarta, located about one kilometer away, were arrested in April 2011, confessed to the murder and recently sentenced to over five life terms.
In a tour and briefing to foreign journalists Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Yoel Edelstein called upon journalists to “see and judge with your own eyes”. Mayor of Shomron Regional Council Gershon Mesika welcomed journalists to “the land of the bible” and said, “Close your eyes and imagine Abraham, Isaac and Jacob establishing a nation here!”