Thousands attend funeral of Yitzhar resident Evyatar Borovsky, who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist at Tapuach Junction • Settlers demand government take action, say "writing was on the wall in blood" • Fatah's Facebook page glorifies terrorist.
Efra Fortier, Gideon Allon, Shlomo Cesana, Daniel Siryoti, Nitzi Yakov and Hazy Sternlicht
The funeral of Evyatar Borovsky on Tuesday.
Photo credit: Michel Dot Com
The children of Evyatar Borovsky at their father's funeral on Tuesday
Photo credit: Michel Dot Com
Evyatar Borovsky, who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on Tuesday
Thousands of people attended the funeral of 31-year-old Evyatar Borovsky, a father of five from Yitzhar who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist Tuesday morning at Tapuach Junction in Samaria.
Borovsky was attacked by 24-year-old Salam Zaghal, a resident of the Palestinian village of Shuchaa, near Tulkarem, while he was waiting at a hitchhiking stop. He was stabbed multiple times in the chest. Zaghal then grabbed Borovsky's handgun and, attempting to flee, opened fire at a nearby Border Police patrol. The troops returned fire and apprehended him. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, Fatah's military wing. Zaghal was a known Fatah operative who was released from Israeli prison six months ago after serving a three-year sentence for throwing rocks.
Borovsky was laid to rest on Tuesday evening at the Kfar Hasidim cemetery in the Zevulun Regional Council. His father, Baruch, eulogized him: "When I watched the TV report about the stabbing attack, I had a bad feeling. I said nothing to my wife, but I saw they were talking about Yitzhar and I was just hoping that it wasn’t Evyatar. Two hours later, they [the police] came and told us he was dead."
"Evyatar was a righteous, God-fearing man, who loved life. He loved making people laugh and he was extremely funny. He studied to be a medical clown and saw it as his vocation, to make patients smile and laugh. He didn’t care if they were Jewish or Arab."
He said that he was against his son's move to Yitzhar: "I tried to prevent him from living there. I even told him that if he moved there I wouldn’t help him buy his house, but he insisted and I -- like any father -- couldn’t really refuse him. My righteous son was killed just for being Jewish and now five children have no father."
News of the terror attack sparked clashes between settlers and Palestinians in the Yitzhar area. Several Palestinian fields were set ablaze, and settlers stoned Palestinian cars driving on nearby roads. The police detained 10 settlers for questioning.
Settlers also gathered in Givat Assaf near Beit El, and Eli Junction north of Ramallah, holding spontaneous protest rallies and demanding Israeli actions. A spokesman for Yitzhar said the community "demands a strong response. The writing was on the wall in blood. This murder is a direct result of the [government's] tolerance for terrorism and the constant escalation in violent attacks against Jews in Judea and Samaria."
Avi Roeh, chairman of Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, said that Tuesday's terror attack "was a direct result of the growing incitement [against Jews] in the Palestinian Authority and the tolerance we show for stoning attacks."
Graffiti reading "price tag" was found on the walls of a Palestinian house in the village of Baytillu, northwest of Ramallah on Wednesday morning. Dozens of Palestinians and settlers clashed nearby, and Israeli security forces used crowd control measures to disperse the riot. One of the settlers was lightly wounded after being hit with a stone.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Tuesday's terror attack, saying "We will continue to take action on this front as well, to protect our citizens."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said, "As far as we know this was the work of a lone assailant. We will not abide any kind of terrorism and we will see what we can do to enhance Judea and Samaria's residents' sense of security."
The right-wing factions in the Knesset also condemned the attack, calling it the Palestinian response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's peace initiative. Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin urged the IDF to "immediately close Tapuach Junction to Palestinian traffic."
The Judea and Samaria Police, the Border Police and the Israel Defense Forces held a joint security assessment following the terror attack.
Police Deputy District Commander Brig. Gen. Kobi Cohen ordered to bolster deployment in places prone to riots and clashes; IDF Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig. Gen. Tamir Yadai said the military would study the incident adding, "There are many terror plots beneath the surface and the IDF is working tirelessly to thwart them." Border Police Commander Maj. Gen. Amos Yaakov praised his troops' swift action in apprehending the terrorist.
Also on Tuesday, Palestinian sources said that IDF and Border Police forces raided Zaghal's village during the night. A Palestinian police source said that it is possible Zaghal sought to clear his family name after his brother was convicted by a Palestinian court of collaborating with Israel and sentenced to four years in prison with hard labor.
Fatah's Facebook page, glorified the attack, praising Zaghal as "a hero."