Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday refuted a claim by the widow of one of the victims in the deadly terror attack in Elad last week, who said she refused to let him make a condolence call with camera crews.
Limor Havakuk, the wife of Yonatan Havakuk, said earlier Sunday that the prime minister had contacted her the day before to visit her.
“I turn to Bennett — dear Bennett, listen to me well. Yesterday you wanted to meet me. I told you I was unwilling to see you with cameras. Do you want to see me? Face to face, and without cameras — this is the only way you can come and see me,” she told Hebrew media.
A subsequent statement from Bennett’s office said that “unfortunately, certain interested parties apparently misled the bereaved families.”
“The things that were published earlier today, as if the prime minister had asked for a visit and was refused or asked to come in the presence of cameras — never happened. There was no such appeal, neither from the prime minister nor from his office. We love, respect and embrace the bereaved families who have lost their most precious of all.”
The prime minister and members of his coalition have come under intense criticism amid an ongoing terror wave in Israel, with members of bereaved families repeatedly heckling him as he delivered speeches during ceremonies marking Israel’s Memorial Day last week.
During her interview earlier Sunday, Havakuk lashed out at Bennett, calling on him to resign from the coalition with the Islamist Ra’am party, the members of which she called “killers.”
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“I ask the people of Israel to make noise and shake the earth. Enough blood, enough orphans and widows. I’ll have to raise five orphans alone,” she said.
“Enough, stop sitting with these killers. A 6-year-old child should not say Kaddish. Bennett, resign, you can correct this, you can repent. If you do not fix this, my husband’s blood is on your hands. If you continue to sit with the killers at the same table, there will be no forgiveness and no remorse for you. They will not defeat us, they are murderers.”
The three men killed in the attack — Havakuk, Boaz Gol, and Oren Ben Yiftah — left behind 16 children between them.
Three others were seriously wounded during the knife and axe attack Thursday evening, at the tail end of Independence Day, in the predominantly Haredi city of Elad, in the center of the country.
The two Palestinian suspects were captured on Sunday, some 60 hours after the attack.
The Elad attack followed a wave of terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent weeks, and repeated threats by Palestinian terror groups over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
It brought to 19 the number of people killed in terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank since March 22 this year.