Military announces it will demolish Halamish terrorist’s home
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Military announces it will demolish Halamish terrorist’s home

Al-Abed family given 72 hours to clear the premises or file appeal; terrorist’s mother charged with incitement for supporting her son

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli ZAKA emergency response members are seen in the West Bank settlement of Halamish, Saturday, July 22, 2017.  (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Israeli ZAKA emergency response members are seen in the West Bank settlement of Halamish, Saturday, July 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

IDF soldiers overnight Thursday informed the family of a terrorist who stabbed three Israelis to death last week that it was preparing to demolish their home. In a written notice, the military said the family had three days to empty the house or appeal the decision to demolish it.

Earlier in the day, a military court charged the mother of the terrorist with incitement to violence for praising her son’s stabbing spree almost a week earlier, which killed three members of an Israeli family in their West Bank home.

Last Friday, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed broke into the Halamish settlement, near Ramallah. There, he went into the Salomon family home and began a stabbing spree, killing three members of the family, grandfather Yosef, 70, and adult children, Elad, 36, and Chaya, 46. The grandmother, Tova, was also seriously injured.

Abed was shot and wounded by an off-duty soldier. He was arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment, and then transferred to Israeli security agencies for questioning. He has not yet been charged.

Ibtisam al-Abed, the mother, was arrested by the IDF Tuesday in her home in the West Bank village of Kobar on suspicion of “aggravated incitement,” the military said in a statement.

The mother of a terrorist who stabbed to death three Israelis in the Halamish settlement last week. (Screen capture: YouTube)
The mother of a terrorist who stabbed to death three Israelis in the Halamish settlement last week. (Screen capture: YouTube)

Following the attack, Abed’s mother appeared in a video that was widely shared on social media, in which she praised her son for the attack, saying she was “proud of him” and hoped he would be released from custody.

On Monday, the family hosted guests and Abed’s mother handed out sweets. According to the military, she also “called for attacks on Jews.”

The military said those statements constitute incitement to violence.

In an interview with the Haaretz newspaper published Monday, Ibtisam al-Abed was quoted offering support for some of her son’s actions.

“It’s not acceptable to me [what he did]. But the whole nation sees courage in his actions, going into an illegal settlement, fenced off and guarded. He didn’t injure children. He sent them away so they wouldn’t get hurt,” she was quoted saying.

(L-R) Yosef, Elad and Chaya Salomon who were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in the Halamish settlement on July 21, 2017. (Courtesy)
(L-R) Yosef, Elad and Chaya Salomon who were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in the Halamish settlement on July 21, 2017. (Courtesy)

According to Michal Salomon, whose husband, Elad, was killed in the attack, she hid their five children in an upstairs bedroom, while her husband fought off Abed until help could arrive.

Abed’s father, Abd al-Jalil al-Abed, also told Haaretz his son’s actions were understandable.

19-year-old Omar al-Abed, the perpetrator of a terror attack in the settlement of Halamish on July 21, 2017 (Facebook photo)
19-year-old Omar al-Abed, the perpetrator of a terror attack in the settlement of Halamish on July 21, 2017 (Facebook photo)

“I don’t support it, not the killing of Jews and not the killing of Arabs. But the reason for my son’s action is bigger than anything else: Al-Aqsa, the holy place for all Muslims. Omar saw what was happening, the worshipers who were beaten, stopping the prayer. I blame the occupation,” he said, referring to tensions over the Temple Mount that preceded the attack.

Five Palestinians were killed last Friday and Saturday in clashes with police over Israel’s decision to place metal detectors at the Jerusalem holy site after three Arab-Israelis shot dead two police officers right outside the compound on July 14 using weapons smuggled into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Omar al-Abed should receive the death penalty for carrying out the deadly stabbing spree.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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