Hundreds join families of Barkan terror victims in protest calling for reprisal

Hundreds join families of Barkan terror victims in protest calling for reprisal

Relatives of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi scoff at IDF order to demolish parts of building where Ashraf Na’alowa lived; call for death penalty against killer

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Hundreds of Israelis, including the families of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi, marched Tuesday to the factory at the Barkan Industrial Park where the two were killed in a terror attack last month.

Led by the victims’ relatives, the demonstrators called for more severe reprisal measures against the attacker, Ashraf Na’alowa, who remains at large.

“We demand the death penalty for terrorists,” said Levengrond Yehezkel’s father, Rafi, who also called for the construction of a new industrial zone in the northern West Bank in memory of his daughter.

“They must learn a lesson: For every drop of our blood that is spilled, you (the Palestinians) will pay in land,” the grieving father asserted.

(From L-R) Likud MK Oren Hazan, Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan, and relatives of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi, who were killed in a terror attack at the Barkan Industrial Zone march in their memory to the site of the attack on November 6, 2018. (Samaria Regional Council)

Hajbi’s brother Tal criticized the IDF for issuing a demolition order for the basement and ground floors of the Na’alowa family’s home in the northern West Bank village of Shuweika, as those were the floors where the suspected terrorist lived, according to the military.

“A partial demolition of the terrorist’s home is unacceptable. The whole home must be razed,” Hajbi said, “and the family must be expelled.”

Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan, who organized the protest, said its purpose was “to demand that our government take reprisals against the Palestinian Authority, which encourages, funds and sends these terrorists.”

The demonstrators marched from the entrance of the industrial zone to the Alon Group factory where Yehezkel and Hajbi were killed and a third Israeli, Sara Vaturi, was wounded.

Draped in Israeli flags and holding signs with the names and faces of the victims, protesters repeatedly chanted “Death to terrorists” and “We won’t forget and we won’t forgive.” Many zip-tied their hands together to highlight the gruesome state in which Yehezkel was found after being shot dead.

Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 29 (left), and Ziv Hajbi, 35, who were killed in a terror shooting in the Barkan industrial zone in the West Bank, October 7, 2018 (screenshots: Facebook)

IDF troops are still searching for Na’alowa, 23, who has been on the run since killing his coworkers on October 7.

The military has launched an investigation of the Barkan attack to determine, among other things, how the gun was smuggled into the industrial park and whether the terrorist had intended to take Levengrond Yehezkel hostage, having used zip-ties to bind her hands before shooting her.

Levengrond was a secretary while Hajbi worked in accounting at the Alon Group’s factory in the industrial park. Na’alowa was employed there as an electrician.

Several members of Na’alowa’s family have been detained or arrested following the attack. The Israeli military has issued a number of warnings to Palestinians in the northern West Bank not to aid the attacker in his escape.

Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alowa, a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a deadly terror attack on October 7, 2018 in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank. (Courtesy)

A Palestinian security official has confirmed to The Times of Israel that PA security forces are assisting in the search for Na’alowa.

Earlier Tuesday, in testimony that likely angered the Yehezkel and Hajbi families, the Shin Bet security service chief Nadav Argaman told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he “unequivocally” opposed a controversial bill that aims to make it easier for Israel to sentence convicted Palestinian attackers of civilians and soldiers to death.

“I unequivocally oppose the death penalty for terrorists — it’s not helpful,” Argaman said in response to a question from Zionist Union MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin about the legislation, which is set to be debated in the Knesset next week.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the go-ahead for lawmakers to advance the bill, reportedly going against the advice of the security establishment.

According to Israel Radio, Netanyahu told members of his coalition that opposition to the bill from both the Shin Bet and IDF should not stop them from advancing the legislation.

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