Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday refuted a claim made by the widow of one of the victims of the deadly terror attack in Elad last week, who said she refused to show his condolences to camera crews.
Limor Havakuk, wife of Yonatan Havakuk, said earlier Sunday that the prime minister had contacted her the day before to visit her.
‘I turn to Bennett – dear Bennett, listen to me carefully. Yesterday you wanted to meet me. I told you I didn’t want to see you with cameras. Do you want to see me? Face to face, and without cameras – this is the only way you can come to me,” she told Hebrew media.
A subsequent statement from Bennett’s office said that “unfortunately certain stakeholders have apparently misled the next of kin”.
“The things that were published earlier today, as if the Prime Minister had asked for a visit and was refused or asked to come in front of cameras – never happened. There was no such appeal, neither from the Prime Minister nor from his office. We love, respect and embrace the bereaved families who have lost their most loved one of all.”
The prime minister and members of his coalition have come under heavy criticism amid an ongoing terror wave in Israel, with relatives repeatedly harassing him as he made speeches at ceremonies to mark Israel’s Memorial Day last week.
During her interview earlier Sunday, Havakuk lashed out at Bennett, calling on him to resign from the coalition with the Islamist Ra’am party, whose members she called “murderers.”
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“I ask the people of Israel to make noise and shake the earth. Enough blood, enough orphans and widows. I just have to raise five orphans,” she said.
“Enough, stop sitting with these killers. A 6-year-old child is not allowed to say Kaddish. Bennett, resign, you can correct this, you can repent. If you don’t fix this, my husband’s blood will be on your hands. If you sit at the same table with the murderers, there will be no forgiveness and no repentance for you. They won’t beat us, they’re killers.”
The three men killed in the attack – Havakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftah – left behind 16 children.
Three others were seriously injured in the knife and ax attack Thursday evening, at the end of Independence Day, in the predominantly Haredi city of Elad, in the center of the country.
The two Palestinian suspects were arrested on Sunday, some 60 hours after the attack.
The Elad attack followed a spate of terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent weeks, and repeated threats by Palestinian terror groups over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
It brought the death toll in terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank since March 22 this year to 19.