(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Three Israelis were killed and a fourth was wounded Friday in a Palestinian terrorist stabbing attack in the Samaria community of Halamish. The terrorist was shot by an off-duty IDF soldier and is in the Israeli defense establishment’s custody.
The victims were Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and son Elad, 36. Yosef’s wife, Tova, 68, was wounded and rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Doctors said Sunday her condition had improved.
The terrorist, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, from the nearby village of Kaubar, is a known Hamas sympathizer. The IDF carried out several raids in Kaubar and other Palestinian villages in the area over the weekend, arresting 29 people, including nine Hamas members.
Friday’s terror attack began unfolding at about 10 p.m., when Abed breached Halamish’s security fence. The local security monitoring station received an alert and a rapid response team scrambled to the area, but could not find Abed. Once inside Halamish, the terrorist entered the Salomon family home, whose door was unlocked, and immediately embarked on a frenzied attack. The family was celebrating the arrival of a new grandson, and were waiting for guests who had been invited to participate in the celebration.
"The scenes of a bloodbath that greeted us when we arrived on Saturday evening at the Salomon home shocked us all to the core—even the most veteran ZAKA volunteers," Yehuda Meshi Zahav, chairman of the ZAKA emergency response group, told JNS.org. "It was painstaking work to gather up so much blood, but we were determined to finish so that the victims could be buried as soon as possible in keeping with Jewish law."
IDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Abed told investigators the attack was inspired by events on the Temple Mount.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday expressed his “profound sorrow” over the deaths of “Yosef, Chaya and Elad, who were murdered by a human animal driven by incitement to hate Jews.”