Military court hands down 4 life sentences on Halamish terrorist

In a 2-1 ruling, a military court on Thursday gave four life sentences to Omar al-Abed, who murdered three members of an Israeli family in horrid terror attack in Halamish in July. One of the judges asserted that Abed should be sentenced to death.
The terrorist, Omar al-Abed, in court on Thursday morning Photo credit: TPS

A panel of three military court judges on Thursday handed down four life sentences on Omar al-Abed, who murdered three members of an Israeli family in a July terrorist attack in the settlement of Halamish.

The verdict was given after two of the three judges supported it. The third, Judge Dov Gilboa, asserted that Abed should be sentenced to death. "These are very unusual circumstances," Gilboa stated. "The defendant, from the planning stages up until the horrible execution, acted in a way that showed he sought to commit slaughter."

"I've watched him smile and enjoy himself all through the trial," Gilboa added. "He even did more of that in front of the family members (of the victims) during his conviction. Therefore, I rule that the defendant's punishment is death."

Following the announcement of the verdict, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an outspoken supporter of the death penalty for terrorists, said, "No number of life sentences is sufficient to punish this animal, who is still smiling. My heart aches thinking about the Salomon family."

On July 21, Abed, armed with a knife, entered the home of the Salomon family and murdered Yossi Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya and Elad. The mother, Tova, was severely injured.

In a letter to the judges ahead of Thursday's verdict, Michal, Elad's widow, requested that the terrorist be punished by death. "The State of Israel is facing a Palestinian Authority that directly calls for the murder of Jews, in any possible means. It has created an absurd situation in which murdering Jews has become an easy way to get money, a solution to personal and social problems and more."

"We ask of the Israeli legal system to demonstrate determination and strengthen the deterrence of terrorists, their families and their accessories - with death sentences, home demolitions, revoking citizenships and toughening the punishments of those who knew and did nothing to prevent it."

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