A father and his two adult children were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist at their Sabbath table where they had gathered to celebrate the birth of a grandchild.
Ten people were gathered at the Sabbath table on Friday night, waiting for more guests to arrive, in Halamish, also known as Neve Tsuf, in Samaria. 19-year old Palestinian, Omar al-Abed, burst into the home and immediately began stabbing people. He killed the father, in his 70’s, and his adult son and daughter, in their 30’s. Abed continued his stabbing spree but one of the women managed to gather the children in a room and lock the door, after which she called the police.
The horrifying incident came to an end when a neighbor who serves in an elite IDF canine special forces unit heard the screams and ran to help. He shot Abed through the window, wounding him.
“I understood immediately what was happening — I saw the terrorist and shot him through the window,” he said to Channel 2 news.
“I understood the situation thoroughly,” he repeated. “I shot into [the house] from outside. I didn’t think a lot. I acted immediately.”
Reports from the scene said that as the medics arrived to treat the wounded, Abed jumped up and attacked them, at which point he was subdued again. Abed was treated for his wounds and released to Israeli security services on Saturday.
The IDF stated that on the way to the attack, Abed made a post to Facebook stating his intentions. The IDF also posted a photo of the bloody aftermath on Twitter.
He also carried a Koran to the attack. Empty bottles of water were found at a spot near the killing and it is believed he performed some form of ritual cleansing with water, such as Muslims do before praying.
Under questioning, Abed told authorities he purchased the knife two days before the killing with the intention of killing Jews. He stated that he was motivated by recent events surrounding the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount events referred to are a result of a Palestinian attack last Friday, when three Palestinians exited the Temple Mount and murdered two Druze Israeli policemen. They fled back to the Temple Mount where Israeli police engaged them in a firefight and killed the three terrorists. The Temple Mount was closed to Muslims until Sunday, at which time it opened with increased security measures that included walk-through metal detectors. The Waqf (Muslim authority) called for a boycott of the Temple Mount. Violent protest have been taking place all week and several Muslims have been killed.
Abed’s father stated to the media that “our children are young and the occupation is responsible [for the attack], not my son. The occupation caused this attack after pressing on Al-Aqsa mosque.”
Abed’s mother told Channel 2 News,”I didn’t send him, but I am proud of my son, may Allah save him and release him and look out for him.”
The names of the victims in Halamish have yet to be released by authorities. The mother of the family was stabbed and seriously wounded. The couple was survived by three children.