Family of slain rabbi thank army for killing his murderer
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Family of slain rabbi thank army for killing his murderer

Commander of IDF brigade says West Bank operation closed a circle, as Miki Mark’s son was until recently one of its officers

The children of Rabbi Miki Mark mourn at a service prior to his funeral at the Otniel yeshiva, where Rabbi Mark was director, on July 3, 2016. (Hadas Parush/FLASH90)
The children of Rabbi Miki Mark mourn at a service prior to his funeral at the Otniel yeshiva, where Rabbi Mark was director, on July 3, 2016. (Hadas Parush/FLASH90)

The family of a rabbi killed in a West Bank shooting attack on Wednesday expressed its gratitude to the army for eliminating his killer and arresting his Hamas accomplices in a pre-dawn raid.

A statement on behalf of Miki Mark’s family said that “they thanked the army, the Shin Bet security service and the security forces who worked day and night to find the murderers.”

Muhammad al-Fakih, 29, was killed in a confrontation with IDF troops in the West Bank village of Surif in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The family statement added: “We were shocked to hear that [Fakih] was a terrorist from the Palestinian Authority, and that they [the cell] were people known to the security forces, who had sat in jail and been released.”

Miki Mark, who was murdered in a terror attack near Hebron on July 1, 2016 (Courtesy)
Miki Mark, who was murdered in a terror attack near Hebron on July 1, 2016 (Courtesy)

The head of the Har Hevron Regional Council, Yohai Damari, praised the IDF operation, but warned that the security situation remained perilous and demanded tougher measures by Israel.

“On the one hand, [we have] tremendous appreciation for the IDF for their determination, their tenacious work and their success in finding the killers. On the other hand, we are no calmer and this will not prevent the next murder. The wave of terror continues to cause bloodshed as long as we fail to use other, harsher methods against the murderers and their accomplices,” said Damari.

The commander of the Nahal Brigade, which took part in Tuesday night’s raid, told Army Radio that the operation had special resonance as Rabbi Mark’s son had until recently been a member of the brigade.

An image of Hamas terrorist Muhammad Fakih, who shot dead Rabbi Miki Mark and was killed by Israeli troops on July 27, 2016 (photo: Hamas's Twitter account)
An image of Hamas terrorist Muhammad Fakih, who shot dead Rabbi Miki Mark and was killed by Israeli troops on July 27, 2016 (photo: Hamas’s Twitter account)

“It was a complex night, a night in which we closed a circle,” said Colonel Amos HaCohen. “But nights like this happen every night for us. One of Miki’s sons was an officer in this brigade until three months ago. Step by step, we act to achieve maximum security for the citizens of Judah and Samaria and Israel,” he said.

Likud MK Yehuda Glick, a friend and neighbor of the rabbi tweeted his praise for the operation.

“This week I asked defense minister [Avigdor Liberman] in the Knesset what he plans to do to prevent the continued terror attacks. He answered that, ‘we are preparing for painful and uncompromising actions.’ I am happy to see that he kept his word,” he wrote.

Israeli forces check the body of Palestinian Hamas fighter Mohammad al-Fakih, who murdered Rabbi Miki Mark in a terror attack a few weeks ago, and was killed during a raid in the West Bank village of Surif, near Hebron, July 27, 2016. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)
Israeli forces check the body of Palestinian Hamas fighter Muhammad al-Fakih, who murdered Rabbi Miki Mark in a terror attack a few weeks ago, and was killed during a raid in the West Bank village of Surif, near Hebron, July 27, 2016. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

“I bless the security forces for their efficient and speedy work to eliminate the terrorist who cut short the life of my dear friend, a hard-working man, Miki Mark, and on the arrest of those who assisted him,” he said.

“The State of Israel must announce an uncompromising war against the forces of evil, including the foundations of terror, those who help, support and incite it. We must drain the swamp of terror so that it is unable to cause bloodshed. At the same time we must work against the international pressure, to strengthen settlements and expand them, as well as to strengthen the moderate Arab voices which are the majority.”

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