With her family members being stabbed to death in the kitchen, Michal Salomon on Friday night gathered her children, hustled them into an upstairs room and held the door closed “with all her might.”
“I started hearing screams and shouts,” Salomon, whose husband Elad was killed in the terror attack, recounted to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Sunday. “I held the door with all my might because it would not lock. I lost sense of time, but I didn’t let go of the handle.
“I called the police and reported the incident with all the children around me,” said Salomon, a mother of five who also lost her father-in-law, Yosef, and sister-in-law, Chaya, in Friday’s terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish. Michal’s mother-in-law, Tova, was recovering from stab wounds at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
The assailant, 19-year-old Palestinian Omar al-Abed, knocked on the Salomons’ door just minutes before festivities to celebrate the birth of a new grandson for Yosef and Tova were set to begin.
The family opened it, thinking al-Abed was the first guest to arrive, Rachel Maoz, a neighbor and close friend of the Salomons, told The Times of Israel late Saturday night.
“I saw the profile of a man who had walked into the kitchen… I heard him asking them in Arabic, ‘What is your name?’ I immediately understood that something was wrong, that something bad was happening,” Michal Salomon told Yedioth.
Residents of the city of Elad in central Israel, Michal’s family had been spending Shabbat with her in-laws in Halamish to celebrate the birth of the new baby, the son of the Salomons’ youngest child, who was not present. Toward the end of their dinner, she had retreated to the living room to play with three of her kids (ages 5,9, and 11) when Abed walked in. Michal rushed her children to a room upstairs where her 1-year-old twin boys were already sleeping and pressed herself against the door.
“I heard horrible screams and gun shots, and after what felt like an eternity, I realized it was over. I went downstairs, saw Elad and realized that my husband was not among the living,” she said.
The terrorist was shot through the kitchen window and wounded by an off-duty IDF soldier who had rushed over when he heard the screams.
The funerals for Yosef, Chaya and Elad Salomon were to take place on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the Modiin cemetery.
Local authorities estimated some 5,000-10,000 people were set to attend the funeral.