The three people killed in Friday evening's stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish have been identified as Yosef Salomon, 70, and his adult children, Chaya, a 46-year-old teacher, and Elad, 36.
Tova Salomon, 68, Yosef's wife and the mother of Elad and Chaya, was wounded in the attack and is being treated at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Yosef Salomon is survived by three other children, according to residents of Halamish. Elad Salomon, the son, is survived by his wife, Michal, and five children.
In the course of the attack, Michal Salomon managed to move the couple's children into another room and to hide them from the attacker, who has been named as 19-year-old Omar al-Abed of the nearby West Bank village of Khobar. From her hiding place, Michal Salomon called security forces for help.
The family was having a special Shabbat dinner to celebrate the birth of a grandson when Al-Abed entered the house armed with a knife. The house is on the edge of the northern West Bank settlement, making it relatively easy for the assailant to reach. He came on foot and reached the Salomon family's home after jumping over the settlement's fence. A neighbor, an off-duty soldier, who heard shouting, rushed to the Salomon family home and shot him.
Al-Abed was treated at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva and then released into the security forces' custody.
Israeli security forces said Al-Abed identifies with the Islamist Hamas movement, but is not considered an active member in the organization. Security forces believe he acted alone and bought the knife used in the attack against the backdrop of growing tensions surrounding Jerusalem's Temple Mount, following a terrorist attack there on July 14 in which two Israeli policemen were killed.
An hour and a half before the attack al-Abed said in a Facebook post that he was "going to die for Al-Aqsa."
Since July 14 Temple Mount shooting, Israeli authorities have installed metal detectors at the entrance to the compound, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims. Palestinians, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, have objected to the presence of the metal detectors. In clashes in and around East Jerusalem with Israeli security forces on Friday, three Palestinians were killed.
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