The mother of a 19-year-old Palestinian man, who allegedly broke into the home of a Jewish family celebrating Shabbat and proceeded to stab three members of the family to death and wound a fourth, said she is proud of her son following his actions.
On Friday, the Salomons, a Jewish family in the Halamish settlement in Israel, were about to enjoy a Shabbat dinner to celebrate the birth of a grandchild born that morning.
In a neighboring village two miles away, Omar al-Abed was preparing to commit an act of terror, according to the Times of Israel. A spokesman for the IDF said that al-Abed posted a Facebook message prior to the attack, announcing that he intended to attack only with a knife and that he was likely not going to come back alive.
Before killing 3 Israelis and wounding a 4th tonight in a heinous act of terror, the terrorist posted this message on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/TNxvQ5IKnO
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 21, 2017
The man reportedly carried a Koran with him as he made his way toward Halamish and performed a purification ritual, which included the washing of hands, arms, mouth, and other parts of the body with fresh water. Israeli authorities say they found empty water bottles nearby.
According to the Times, al-Abed climbed the wall of the Hamalish settlement, tripping alarms in the process, but he managed to make his way to the Salomon home unchallenged, according to reports. Al-Abed burst into the home with a large knife and began stabbing the family members, authorities said.
The grandfather, Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya Salomon, 46, and son Elad Salomon, 36, were killed. Yosef's wife Tova Salomon, 68, was critically injured, the Times reported.
Elad's wife, Michal, managed to hide her children in a back room. She locked the door, called the police, and screamed for help.
Elad and Michal Solomon. Michal managed to hide their five children in another room as Elad was murdered at their Shabbat dinner last night. pic.twitter.com/X3iTnEfdHR
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) July 22, 2017
The Salomons' neighbor, identified only as Sgt. A of an elite IDF canine unit, heard the screams and rushed over with a pistol. Seeing the terrorist from outside, the soldier shot al-Abed through the window, subduing him.
“I understood immediately what was happening — I saw the terrorist and shot him through the window,” Sgt. A said, according to the Times.
“I understood the situation thoroughly,” Sgt. A added. “I shot into [the house] from outside. I didn’t think a lot. I acted immediately.”
The suspect was merely wounded, however, and reportedly attempted to attack medical personnel who arrived to try to give aid to the stabbed family members.
Tova Salomon was transported to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where she underwent surgery Saturday.
Al-Abed was also transported to an unnamed hospital, where he was treated and released to security services for questioning Saturday afternoon.
Once news broke of the attack, celebrations reportedly broke out in Gaza in the streets of Neve Tzuf over the murder of the family members.
According to journalist Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post, al-Abed's father received a call from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who said al-Abed "brought pride to the nation."
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh phoned the father of the Palestinian who carried out Halamish attack: 'Your son brought pride to the nation.' pic.twitter.com/G5bygnBOj8
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) July 22, 2017
The mother of al-Abed also made a short video, saying that she was proud of her son following the massacre.
Watch:The mother of the terrorist who butchered 3 members of an Israeli family last night as they were having dinner says she's proud of him pic.twitter.com/85ZBDFZ8xI
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) July 22, 2017
According to the Times, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Saturday that he had "deep sorrow" for the murder of the Salomons and that “this was an act of terror perpetrated by a human animal, infused with abhorrent hatred.”