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'They were a big part of our community, dear friends... Everything's coming back'

For Fogels of Halamish, massacre carries terrible echoes of own 2011 tragedy

Chaim Fogel says killing of Salomon family members was ‘very reminiscent’ of Itamar bloodbath in which his children, grandchildren were slain; criticizes publication of bloody photos of terror attack

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Haim Fogel speaking with reporters outside the Salomon family home in Halamish on July 23, 2017. (Screen capture/Twitter)
Haim Fogel speaking with reporters outside the Salomon family home in Halamish on July 23, 2017. (Screen capture/Twitter)

The brutal terror attack in Halamish on Friday brought back painful memories for community member Chaim Fogel, whose son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren were murdered in a similar 2011 stabbing spree in another West Bank settlement.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday outside the home where Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36, were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist on Friday, Chaim Fogel said their murders “were very reminiscent” of the tragedy that struck his family six years ago.

At the time, he and his wife were called from Halamish to identify the bodies of their loved ones in the northern West Bank’s Itamar settlement.

Fogel said that he and his wife had been very close with Yosef and Tova Salomon, the latter of whom is currently recovering from stab wounds at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya Salomon, 46, seen at a recent family celebration. They were stabbed to death on July 21, 2017 in a terrorist attack at Halamish. (Courtesy)
Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya Salomon, 46, seen at a recent family celebration. They were stabbed to death on July 21, 2017 in a terrorist attack at Halamish. (Courtesy)

When the Fogels met up with the Salomons earlier this week, Tova had asked Chaim’s wife Tzila if she could prepare hummus for the party they were having Friday night to celebrate the birth of a new grandson, Fogel said. It was ahead of the party that the terrorist entered the house on Friday night, killing three of the family members.

“They were a big part of our community, dear friends… Everything’s coming back,” he said, again referring to the killings of his own family members six years ago.

Members of the Fogel family killed on March 11, 2011 in Itamar. (Clockwise from top left) Ruth, Ehud, Yoav, Hadas and Elad. (Screen capture/YouTube)
Members of the Fogel family killed on March 11, 2011 in Itamar. (Clockwise from top left) Ruth, Ehud, Yoav, Hadas and Elad. (Screen capture/YouTube)

On March 11, 2011, two Palestinian terrorists entered the home of Rabbi Ehud and Ruth Fogel brutally murdering them, and three of their six children — 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad, and three-month-old Hadas.

Fogel also made a point to criticize the publication of photos of the Salomon family’s blood-stained kitchen and dining room.

“It’s very disturbing and outrageous to see the pictures. My wife turned on the TV on Saturday night and saw [them]. It brought everything back for her,” he said.

Elad Salomon, left, with his wife Michal and three of their kids. (Courtesy)
Elad Salomon, left, with his wife Michal and three of their kids. (Courtesy)

“Someone might have thought that it would be good to show the whole world the blood. The problem is that it hurts us, it hurts the families,” he added.

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 burials.

A policeman embraces a woman who lives near the home where three Israelis were killed in a terror stabbing a day earlier, in the settlement of Halamish, West Bank, on Saturday, July 22, 2017 (Hadas Parush/FLASH90)
A policeman embraces a woman who lives near the home where three Israelis were killed in a terror stabbing a day earlier, in the settlement of Halamish, West Bank, on Saturday, July 22, 2017 (Hadas Parush/FLASH90)
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