Israel is demanding that CNN apologize for "tendentious and deceptive" coverage of Friday night's brutal slaughter of five members of a family as they slept in their home in a West Bank settlement.
Authorities are unsure whether one or two terrorists apparently scaled the security fence surrounding Itamar, an Israeli West Bank settlement, forced their way into the home of Udi and Ruth Fogel and went from room to room stabbing people as they slept. The Fogels (a rabbi and a schoolteacher) and three of their children were killed. Yoav Fogel was 11. Elad was three, and their sister Hadas was just three-months-old.
An early version of a story on CNN's website carried the headline "Israeli Family of five killed in 'terror attack.'"
"Only you decided to use the term terrorist attack in quotation marks, as if this were not necessarily the case," wrote Oren Helman, director of Israel's Government Press office, in a letter to CNN Jerusalem Bureau Chief Kevin Flower protesting the coverage. "There is a limit to the extent of objectivity regarding such a horrific deed."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to forcefully condemn the attack in Palestinian media. Abbas did condemn the attack in an interview with Israeli radio, but Netanyahu said that
Three other Fogel children survived the attack. Tamar, a 12-year-old girl, was at a neighbor's house at the time. She discovered the carnage when she returned home. Two brothers, ages two and eight, were in a side room and were unharmed.
In an interview with Ynetnews.com, a neighbor described the aftermath, as the surviving children learned their parents and sibling dead. One of the surviving sons had blood all over his clothes. He was crying: "Where's my daddy? Where's daddy? I want my daddy," the neighbor said. "I changed his clothes, he was tired, and I cleaned the blood off his legs."
"The children were literally slaughtered," an IDF officer said, describing the scene in the Fogel house, where blood-soaked toys were strewn across the floor. "This is one of the most brutal attacks we have ever seen."
Israeli soldiers are searching for Palestinian terrorists in connection with the massacre. Relatives released gruesome photographs of the victims. Israel Today explained the family wanted "to show the world the kind of cruelty with which Jews are targeted in their homeland."