Arab vandals smashed the memorial to terror victim Danny Gonen, who was murdered in a shooting attack in Samaria in 2015.
Gonen, 19, was hiking with a friend near the Binyamin region town of Dolev, and stopped to help out when a passing Arab asked for water. The Arab then shot Gonen and attempted to shoot his friend, Netanel Hadad, who was wounded in the attack. Gonen died of his injuries,
A memorial was erected for Gonen, which has been repeatedly desecrated. The memorial was destroyed last week, makring the fourth act of vandalism against the site since Gonen’s murder,
Dvora Gonen, Danny’s mother, is no longer surprised by the assaults on her son’s memory. “On Friday before Shabbat began, a resident of Dolev called me and sent me a picture of the whole monument shattered,” she said.
“The truth is that it was close to the beginning of Shabba tand I decided that I did not want to ruin Shabbat for the family, so I did not send the picture [to others], not that it was easier for us, but I really did not want to ruin Shabbat for everyone.”
She said that this was the fourth time the memorial had been desecrated, and that this time the vandals left it beyond repair. “I sent a message to the brigade commander and wrote to him that the story of the destruction of the monument is also a story about the spirit of the IDF and the national strength of the entire country. The first time the monument was desecrated, it was only with spray-paint and the IDF did not respond or try to catch the people responsible. The members of the community cleaned the paint.”
“The second time they only scratched the metal plate, and again there was no military response. The third time they cut the metal plate and again there was restraint. The fourth time they destroyed the whole monument. This is the story of our army,” she said.
Gonen called for the establishment of a new community in place of the shattered memorial. “I ask myself what happened to our army, we saw the soldier who received a slap from an Arab woman or a jeep that was struck by bullets and did not respond. It is not my personal story but that of our entire nation. There is a lack of response and an unwillingness to catch the culprits.”
“The other side sees that there is no response so they aggravate their actions because this is the prevailing spirit. Maybe if we build a settlement there they will understand that there is a price for what they are doing. It was time to stop treating them with kid gloves. I do not mean to come and destroy them but they have to understand that if they do such a thing they have nothing to lose. It is also possible, in response, to close a tap of spring water from which they irrigate their fields, so that they will understand that they have something to lose.”
Gonen stressed to Arutz Sheva: “The IDF really helps us and helped us renovate the monument in recent times, but now there is nothing to renovate, we need a new monument, but more important than that we have to decide that we want to win.”
The memorial before it was destroyed (David Hochberg )