The terrorist came dressed in a white shirt, in Sabbath clothes, reported Dan Landa, the in-law of Yossi Solomon who was murdered with his two adult children Friday night in the community of Halamish.
“He burst through the door and started attacking them,” Landa told NRG. “My daughter took the children and went upstairs with them behind his back and shut herself up in the room with them.”
The terrorist, Omar al-‘Abd, 19, from the nearby village of Kubar, entered the Halamish community around 9:30 PM Friday, activating the town’s alarm system.
He entered the home after knocking on the door of the Solomon family, who were celebrating the birth of a grandson that Friday night and thought it was a visitor arriving. His appearance, in what looked like Shabbat clothes, gave the attacker that extra second’s advantage over his unsuspecting victims, and so he rushed into their home and began to stab the occupants with a knife.
Yossi Salomon, 70, and his two adult children, Haya, 46, and Elad, 36, were killed. Tova, Yossi’s wife, 70, was critically injured. Elad’s wife, Michal, hauled away the little children, locked up the room called police and started crying out for help.
What ensued will likely continue to divide Israeli society between those who believe terrorists have, by definition, given up their civil rights and must be killed on sight, and those who believe terrorists are not better or worse than any other criminal.
The IDF rules of engagement, as exhibited by the notorious verdict in Sgt. Elor Azaria’s trial earlier this year, decidedly support a terrorist’s right to life, and have been the source of documented mishaps – the most glaring of which took place just a week ago, when one of the murderers of the two police on the Temple Mount had been kept alive because he was considered “neutralized,” only to rise up and shoot a medic who was coming to care for him.
The IDF Spokesperson on Saturday night used the testimony of the soldier who finally took down the Halamish terrorist to preach a lesson on the need for restraint when facing a mad murderer.
“I stood outside the home and saw the terrorist through the window,” Sgt. A., a combat soldier in the Oketz K9 unit read with his back to the camera a statement obviously prepared for him by the IDF Spokesman’s website. “I realized I had to behave calmly and professionally,” he continued, in a tone reminiscent of US Army training films.
“I shot him with one bullet which hit him in the stomach and neutralized him,” Sgt. A emphasized. “The main thing was that I was in the right place and at the right time.”
He added that he was glad that his cool and calm response prevented an even worse outcome, but did not specify if he meant that more Jewish victims would have fallen before the murderer’s knife, or that the murderer would have, God forbid, been destroyed by a less responsible IDF soldier.
Army Radio was pushing the same point regarding the need for restraint when fighting terrorists and the sanctity of terrorists’ lives. Sgt. As mom told the military station: “My son told me that he could no longer shoot [the terrorist] once he had seen him lying on the floor. He told me, ‘We are not murderers,’ they are the murderers,” she said.
“There are stupid people who said he had to go inside the home and shoot the terrorist in the head,” mom continued, stressing, “He neutralized the terrorist from the outside, if he had gone in it would have just turned it into another case of Elor Azaria.”
Here’s something to consider: speaking to the IDF Spokesperson’s camera, his back turned, Sgt. A. revealed: “It’s not the first time we experience such an event. Three years ago, a similar event took place in my home, to my little sister, when a terrorist came in and attacked her. Miraculously, that event ended with less terrible consequences than this time.”
Question: when did religious Jews (Sgt. A. sports a knitted yarmulke) adopt the turn-the-other-cheek doctrine? Also, in whose interest is it to promote the preservation of terrorist lives as a value and the peak of military professionalism?