Israeli Forces Demolish West Bank House of Palestinian Who Killed Three Israelis in Their Home

In unusually rapid move, just three weeks after Omer el-Abed killed three people in the settlement of Halamish, his family house was razed

A woman checks the remains of the house of a Palestinian man, who killed three Jewish residents of a nearby Israeli settlement, after it was demolished by Israeli authorities in the West Bank village of Kobar, near Ramallah, on August 16, 2017.
ABBAS MOMANI/AFP

Israeli security forces on Tuesday night demolished the home of the Palestinian terrorist who stabbed three members of the Salomon family to death in the West Bank settlement of Halamish three weeks ago.

The move to demolish the family home of Omar al-Abed, 20, was relatively fast. Last week the state razed the homes of the terrorists who had killed border policewoman Hadas Malka, 23, and soldier Elichai Taharlev, 20, in separate incidents by the Damascus Gate two months ago.

There is no consensus among defense officials about the efficacy of demolishing homes as a deterrent. Some do believe however that the measure, combined with confiscating vehicles used in terror attacks and money donated to the terrorists' families, does deter.

Yosef Salomon, 70, and two of his children, Elad, a 36-year-old father of five, and Chaya, a 46-year-old teacher, were murdered in the attack in Halamish. Yosef’s wife Tova, 68, suffered moderate to serious wounds.

"They can rebuild their house but mine has been destroyed forever," said Michal Salomon, Elad's widow. "There should be a death  penalty so these terrorists can never build their home, and if not a death penalty, there should be  an extreme crackdown on their terms of imprisonment, precluding them from having anything but the bare minimum." They should not be allowed television or the right to study, she said.

Visiting the family after the murders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said that the Palestinian who killed the three Israelis in Halamish should be executed.

On Tuesday the military prosecution stated that it is likely to pursue charges against five of Omar al-Abed's relatives, for knowing in advance but failing to prevent a crime. According to sources in the prosecution, the family members were aware of Abed’s plans to carry out an attack but did not try to stop him. His father, Abed al-Jalil, his mother, Ibtisam al-Jalil, two of his brothers and another relative are expected to face indictment.