Preliminary investigation of Halamish attack raises difficult questions
Michal Salomon tells of the horrors of the attack: "My job was to protect the children, his was to delay the terrorist"The harsh images from the attack on Halamish keep replaying in Michal Salomon's mind. In an interview with Channel 2 News, Elad's widow recounts the moments when she hid her children to save their lives: "I knew my husband was no longer among the living, we didn't want the children to be seen."
Michal Salomon, who hid her children in one of the upper rooms of the house during the deadly attack in Halamish, recounts the moments of terror during which her husband, father-in-law and sister-in-law were murdered. "We just quickly ran up the stairs behind the terrorist," she said. "I closed the door and told the children not to make a sound."
This was an act of terrorism committed by a reprehensible person incited by wild hatred.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 22, 2017
Salomon explained that at first she had thought the terrorist was a man wearing Shabbat clothes but still couldn't understand why he had come to the house. Seconds later, when she heard him call out in Arabic and saw the knife, she finally understood that they were in the midst of a terror attack.
Michal, who was interviewed just a few hours before her family members were laid to rest, tried to retell of the horrors that she heard going on on the floor below through the bedroom door. "I heard shouts and cries of pain, I heard my mother-in-law calling out for Yossi, Elad and Chaya," she said. "I chose to shut my ears and just waited, the children started to cry a bit. I told them, 'Do not say a word.' And then it was all quiet downstairs. I went down the stairs and at the entrance to the kitchen I saw my husband. He was breathing his last breaths."
"I knew that my husband was no longer my husband," Salomon continued. "I saw my father-in-law lying on the floor, I could not see his face and I didn't get any closer. I saw the terrorist lying down, neutralized, but still moving. One of the people who had already arrived grabbed me and forced me to go upstairs, to stay with the children, not to look at what had happened."
A Palestinian terrorist murdered 3 Israelis tonight & injured another in the community of Halamish. Our thoughts are with their families. https://t.co/abvXEprmtK— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) July 21, 2017
"From the very moment the attack started, [my husband and I] signed an unwritten agreement," Michal said. "My job was to protect the children and his was to delay the terrorist. That was the cooperation between us, that's how it has always been, for the benefit of our home and our children." She added: "It's hard for me to believe that I'm going to continue on this journey without him. He left me five gifts... and I see Elad in each of them."
19-year-old Omar al-Abed, who lived in the nearby Palestinian village of Kobur, stabbed the Salomon family members to death while they were celebrating the birth of a new grandchild. He was motivated, according to his father, by the recent events on the Temple Mount.
Halamish: I have no words to describe my sorrow for the victims or disgust for the terrorist act that killed a family at their Shabbat table— Ambassador Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) July 22, 2017
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin both condemned the attack and sent their condolences to the Salomon's family and loved ones. In a message on his Facebook page, Netanyahu promised that "the home of the loathsome terrorist will be demolished as soon as possible."
To some in the Israeli government, however, this is not enough; several ministers in the Security Cabinet have publicly called for the terrorist to be executed. "I call on the military prosecution to demand the death penalty for the terrorist that killed the Salomon family," said Education Minister Naftali Benett. Meanwhile, Netanyahu has called on the government ministers to "behave with the necessary responsibility" and promised that he and his advisory cabinet are "managing this calmly, decisively and responsibly, and we will continue to do that to protect security."
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