Israel’s leadership reacted with grief to a Palestinian terrorist’s vicious murder of three family members in their home on the Sabbath. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his deep sorrow over Friday night’s murder of three family members in the community of Halamish in Samaria.

“This was an act of terrorism committed by a beast incited by wild hatred,” Netanyahu stated.

A 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist stabbed three family members to death Friday evening in the Jewish community of Neve Tsuf, which is also known as Halamish. The brutal murder occurred as the family was enjoying their Shabbat meal and gathering to celebrate the birth of a new grandson.

A soldier on home leave who heard the commotion rushed to the scene and shot and wounded the terrorist, Omar al-Abed from the village of Kobar near Ramallah. He was treated for an abdominal wound and then was turned over to Israeli security forces.

The victims are Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya Salomon, 46, and Elad Salomon, 36. Yosef’s wife Tova, 68, was seriously wounded and underwent surgery at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

“The security forces are doing their utmost to maintain security and, to this end, will take all necessary measures,” Netanyahu vowed.

Truly Heartbreaking

President Reuven Rivlin said that “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.”

“The difficult pictures, and the thoughts of the children who fled for shelter now dealing with the terrible news – it is truly heartbreaking,” Rivlin said.

Elad’s wife Michal and her five children fled to an upstairs room and locked the door until first responders arrived.

Emergency services encountered the most shocking of scenes: a house ready for Shabbat, with the table prepared and food and drink on the table in honor of the new grandchild, a celebration traditionally called the Shalom Zachor. But everywhere in the home, there was so much blood from the victims.

“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,” he stated.

“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, he said.

“I know that we will show no tolerance for those who plot against us, and we will fight terrorism, mercilessly and without compromise,” he added.

Rivlin called on “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,” Rivlin concluded.

The Palestinian leadership has yet to condemn the attack.

Palestinians’ Hateful Incitement and Glorification of Violence

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon blamed “the hateful incitement and glorification of violence by the Palestinian Authority” which led to “the murder of innocent Israelis, stabbed to death in their home.”

Danon called on the Security Council to immediately “condemn this despicable terror attack.”

“The international community must demand that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA put an end to these heinous attacks and stop their ongoing encouragement of violence,” he concluded.

In the meantime, the nations that comprise the international quartet of Mideast peacemakers say they are concerned about “escalating tensions and violent clashes” in and around the Old City of Jerusalem.

Envoys from Russia, the US, the European Union (EU) and the UN issued a statement Saturday saying they “strongly condemn acts of terror, express their regret for all loss of innocent life caused by the violence, and hope for a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

They called on all sides to show “maximum restraint, refrain from provocative actions and work towards de-escalating the situation.”

The envoys welcomed assurances by Israel’s prime minister that “the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem will be upheld and respected.” And they encouraged Israel and Jordan to work together to uphold it.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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