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Netanyahu: Home of Halamish terrorist will soon be demolished

Prime minister declares Palestinian who killed three members of Salomon family ‘a beast infused with the hatred of Jews’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting on July 3, 2017. (Ohad Zweigenberg/POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting on July 3, 2017. (Ohad Zweigenberg/POOL)

Israel intends to speedily destroy the house of the Palestinian terrorist who killed three members of the Salomon family Friday night in the West Bank settlement of Halamish, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

On Friday evening, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, from a nearby West Bank village, burst in to the Salomon family’s house armed with a large knife and stabbed to death Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya Salomon, 46, and son Elad Salomon, 36. Yosef’s wife Tova, 68, was seriously hurt.

During the attack, Abed was shot and injured by an off-duty Israeli soldier who lives nearby. He was discharged from an Israeli hospital into custody on Saturday.

IDF forces early Saturday morning raided Abed’s home and arrested his brother. They also mapped the family home of the 19-year-old killer in preparation for its likely demolition.

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

At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu expressed condolences to the Salomon family.

“Yosef, Chaya and Elad were murdered by a human beast infused with the hatred of Jews,” he said.

“The security forces are acting in the field at all times as is necessary,” he said. “The house of the lowly terrorist will be demolished as soon as possible. We are taking action against all those who incite to murder and those who glorify it.”

The prime minister added that he and his ministers were currently receiving updates and policy recommendations on the situation by all relevant security agencies.

“We will decide accordingly,” he said, referring to the controversial decision by Israel to place metal detectors at the Temple Mount following a deadly terror attack there on July 14. That attack was carried out by three Arab Israelis who had smuggled firearms into the flashpoint holy site and then launched their shooting attack from within the compound. Two Israeli policemen were killed by the terrorists, who were themselves shot dead as they retreated into the Temple Mount enclosure.

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)

Arab leaders have condemned what the termed Israeli “restrictions” at the Temple Mount. Israeli officials insist that the status quo there has not changed, and that all recent measures were taken solely to secure the site.

“We operate calmly, with determination and responsibility,” Netanyahu said. “This is how we will continue to act to maintain security.”

Four top ministers on Saturday and Sunday called on the West Bank military courts to seek the death penalty for Abed, which has not been exercised in decades.

The security cabinet was scheduled to convene later Sunday to review the Temple Mount security measures. A previous meeting on Thursday night decided to leave the metal detectors in place.

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)

There have been daily protests against the walk-through metal detectors by Muslim worshipers who refuse to enter the Temple Mount as long as the electronic security equipment remains. Hundreds of worshipers have held prayers sessions in the street outside the Lions Gate to the Old City, scene of the deadly shooting attack, and a key access point to the Temple Mount compound that lies just inside the gate.

Overnight Saturday-Sunday, Israel installed new security cameras and other surveillance outside Lions Gate.

Four Palestinians were killed in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday and Saturday during violent clashes with Israeli security forces over the metal detectors, and a fifth died when a petrol bomb he had planned to hurl at Israeli troops exploded prematurely.

In his initial questioning, Abed, the Halamish terrorist, said he bought the knife two days ago and sought to commit a terror attack because of events surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

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