The sister of two brothers killed in a terrorist attack on Sunday implored Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to provide them with a sense of security in their day-to-day lives, as the premier paid a condolence call to the family.
Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, from the Har Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank, were killed Sunday as they drove through the nearby Palestinian town of Huwara. Their killer has yet to be caught.
Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, visited the family at their home in Har Bracha as they sat shiva, the traditional weeklong mourning period in Judaism.
“I’ll continue living here,” said the sister, Rachel Yaniv, “because it’s my land, it’s my country and my grandparents fought for this land. I deserve to drive on the roads here and I’ll continue to do so. I only ask to do so safely.”
Rachel told Netanyahu that in the span of one month, she had rocks thrown at her by Palestinians on three separate occasions: “We can’t continue like this.”
“So many bereaved families and siblings have come here and they really strengthen me, but why are there so many?” she continued, her voice rising. “We have to do something!… we need security, we need something!”
“This reality cannot continue, we can’t allow it — it’s incomprehensible, there are things that you just cannot accept,” she said. “It’s the blood of my brothers — not only mine but all of the people of Israel’s.”
In response, Netanyahu said, “you’re speaking from your heart.”
“There’s a lot more to be done on security,” he said. “The Land of Israel is obtained through tribulations and there are no greater tribulations than these.”
“We have a mission: To hold tightly to the land, increase security and strike the murders. This is what we’ll do,” he said.
Netanyahu touted recent government decisions concerning West Bank settlement expansion, including legalizing a number of wildcat outposts and advancing plans for thousands of new homes.
“We made a series of decisions recently, in the face of difficult international circumstances, to deepen our roots, to deepen settlement and expand our grasp on the homeland. This is the battle we’re in. These two wonderful boys fell in the battle for the homeland,” the premier said.
Also Thursday, the Yaniv brothers’ mother criticized a crowdfunding campaign seeking donations for Huwara, the village where the shooting occurred, after rampaging settlers set fire to numerous cars and buildings in response.
Labor party member Yaya Fink launched the online crowdfunding campaign the morning after Sunday night’s riot in which a 37-year-old Palestinian man was killed, some 300 were wounded — four of them seriously — and dozens of buildings and vehicles were torched.
“I get up every morning looking out at the village of murderers Huwara, where the murderer of my sons is walking around,” Esti Yaniv said in a video posted online Thursday. “The village of murderers, where treats were handed out [to celebrate the murder].”
She said she was “horrified” by the crowdfunding effort, “a backward campaign for the people who handed out baklavas after the murder of my children.”