President Reuven Rivlin on Saturday night offered his condolences following the murder of three family members who were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in the settlement of Halamish and vowed that Israel would continue to fight terrorism without compromise.
“At this difficult time our hearts go out to the bereaved family in Halamish, and to all the community there, after the incomprehensible loss they have endured last night,” Rivlin said in a statement. “The difficult pictures, and the thoughts of the children who fled for shelter now dealing with the terrible news – it is truly heartbreaking.”
“We embrace the members of the family into our hearts, and are inspired by the courage and composure of a mother who stood alone in the face of such horror, and by the IDF soldier who brought an end to the terrible campaign of murder.”
According to a preliminary investigation, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed arrived in the settlement on foot armed with a knife, climbed a fence and then proceeded to a nearby home.
He then broke in as the family was finishing its Shabbat dinner and stabbed four of the 10 people at the family meal, killing three of them: Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya Salomon, 46, and son Elad Salomon, 36. The family was celebrating the birth of a grandson.
An IDF soldier on leave in a nearby home responded to the screams and shot and wounded Abed through the window.
“I pray for the recovery of the wounded, and wish to express my support for the IDF, and all the security forces, who are working for our safety at every moment, and especially in these last few days. I know that we will show no tolerance for those who plot against us, and we will fight terrorism, mercilessly and without compromise,” Rivlin continued.
“This is the time for the whole free world to denounce terror and incitement, and join with the State of Israel in the war against terror and incitement. One who does not denounce terror is a partner to it, and has a hand in the deterioration of the whole region into a needless, bloody war, which no one wants.”
Victor Vakhnin and Ofir Shtenbaum, spokespeople for the settlement, said in a televised statement after the Sabbath that Halamish “would continue to grow” and flourish, despite the deadly attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night also expressed his “deep sorrow” over the murder of three family members in Halamish.
“This was an act of terror perpetrated by a human animal, infused with abhorrent hatred,” the prime minister said in a statement, released minutes after the end of the Sabbath.
Israel’s security forces are doing “all they can to maintain security, and will take all necessary measures to do so,” the statement said.
Friday saw riots around the Old City and the Jerusalem area in response to Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount compound. Three Palestinians were reported killed and some 200 others were wounded in the confrontations with Israeli security forces.
The Israeli actions at the Temple Mount came in response to a July 14 terror attack, in which three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers there with guns they had smuggled into the holy site. But Abbas said the act was “falsely presented as a security measure” while claiming Israel’s real purpose was “to take control of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”