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July 6, 2016 3:05 pm

Israeli Defense Minister to Family of Otniel Rabbi Slain in Palestinian Terror Attack: ‘Self-Preservation Insufficient; Head of Snake Must Be Severed’

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman paying a shiva call to the family of slain Otniel Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark. Photo: Har Havron regional council spokesman's office.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (bottom right), paying a shiva call to the family of slain Otniel Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark. Photo: Har Havron regional council spokesman’s office.

Israel’s defense minister told the family of a rabbi killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack on Friday that he did not intend to respond passively to the murder, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Wednesday.

“New [Jewish] housing must be built and security [for Israeli citizens] guaranteed,” Avigdor Lieberman said, during a shiva call – the ritual paying of respect during the seven-day Jewish mourning period – at the Otniel home of Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark, 48, who was gunned down while driving with his wife and two of his 10 children. “Self-preservation is not sufficient; we must sever the head of the snake.”

Mourners and visitors responded with a call for more serious action where combating terrorism and strengthening Jewish settlement in the West Bank is concerned.

Mark’s daughter, Miriam, said, “The answer is not merely stepped-up security and the construction of a few more houses. The answer is the establishment of additional communities, to make it clear to the terrorists that this is our home and we will not budge from here.”

Other family members urged Lieberman to act towards the establishment of a settlement on the spot of Mark’s murder, which occurred on Route 60, approximately nine miles south of Kiryat Arba – the settlement in the outskirts of Hebron where 13-year-old Hallel Ariel was stabbed to death in her bedroom by a Palestinian terrorist on Thursday.

Yochai Damari, head of the Hebron Hills Regional Council – who was present during Lieberman’s visit, called for the restoration of security and settlement expansion. He also told the defense minister about the incessant incitement heard from minarets in the area. “Every Friday, calls to slaughter the Jews emanate from the mosques,” he said, appealing to Lieberman and the government to put a stop to the phenomenon.

Mark, the head of the Otniel Yeshiva, was killed when the family car was attacked by Palestinian gunmen in a white Kia. Mark, who was driving, lost control of the wheel, and the car flipped over, leaving his wife critically injured, and a son and daughter in moderate condition.

On Sunday, as The Algemeiner reported, thousands of mourners attended his funeral, where his children asked that he pray for their mother’s recovery. Later that same day, the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem — where Havi Mark was hospitalized — announced that she had regained consciousness, after being in a medically induced coma, and that her condition had stabilized.

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