Last night, at the height of the Sabbath meal, an Arab dressed as an Israeli snuck into the Jewish town of Halamish (known also as Neve Zuf) and murdered Yossi, Elad and Chaya Solomon, seriously injuring Yossi’s wife Tova as well.
The family was celebrating the birth of a firstborn son and grandson in the home of his grandparents. The Arab terrorist, since identified as Omar El- Abed, 19, entered the house as the family was preparing for the event last night, on the Sabbath. He began stabbing the grandfather Yossi, age 70. Elad, his son age 36 and father of the newborn baby, was also murdered in cold blood, while his wife Michal instinctively rushed all the children into the laundry room, away from the terrorist, and tried to call the police. The terrorist also murdered Yossi’s daughter Chaya (46), while severely injuring his wife Tova. A neighbor, who serves in the IDF Special Forces unit “Oketz” and was home for Shabbat, heard the commotion, rushed into the house with his gun and shot the terrorist, neutralizing him. We have been told that first, the terrorist lay next to his victims, pretending to be one of them while luring in the rescue team, in an attempt to murder more innocent Israelis.
The terrorist left an online manifesto before the attack in which he stated that he felt obligated to act ‘in light of recent events’.
Hamas issued a statement of support for the attack, calling it a “necessary reaction” to new Israeli security procedures at the Temple Mount. In a tweet, they called it “heroic”.
Ask yourselves: Can this possibly be portrayed with moral equivalency? Hamas justifies the murder of a family in their home because metal detectors were installed at a few more entrances to the Temple Mount?
Reminder: The metal detectors were put up in response to an earlier attack by Arab terrorists who murdered two Israeli policemen last Friday.
And come to think of it, we do not remember any metal detectors on the Temple Mount when the Fogel family were murdered in their home. What was the excuse for murder then?
On a personal note, our teenage son happened to be spending Shabbat in that community with his fellow youth group leadership. On Friday night, they were stopped by a security vehicle and told to go inside and stay quiet. Their building didn’t lock, so they were moved to the home of a nearby family who took them in til morning. Tonight we gather to help deal with the aftermath of such a trauma. Hiding from a terrorist is not something you factor into a summer vacation schedule, but here in Israel reality takes over quite quickly. We can only hope these young adults will quickly find a good balance between morality and the innocence of youth.
Pictures from Gaza today show its civilians celebrating in the streets as they do after every terror attack. It is vile, but sadly, not new nor surprising. Palestinian Authority officials are nowhere to be heard.
And we face a world that encourages terror by refusing to recognize it in its basest form. Large world media outlets chose these headlines:
Six dead as Israeli-Palestinian tensions boil over (The Guardian)
Six dead in worst Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed for years (Reuters)
On Friday, three Arab rioters were killed by Israeli armed forces in various clashes around Judea and Samaria.
These various headlines equate the deaths of rioters, those who chose to go out and violently demonstrate, with the murder of a family sitting in their home celebrating the Sabbath and a new baby.
Surely we are losing our moral compass, and we must not let this happen.
Please take a few moments and contact your friends and influential parties – encourage them to publish the names and faces of those murdered. And those who murder.
Of those Arabs who would deny religious freedom, the right to safety on our streets and at our holiest sites – versus those who truly seek peace and the Jewish way of peace and security.
Israeli Justice Minister Shaked correctly places the blame on an Arab education towards hate:
The Arab terrorist was not killed when shot, just neutralized. He was then rushed to an Israeli hospital so that the doctors there could save his life.
Why? Because that is what Israel does. We value life, in all its forms. Even if that means saving the most vile of terrorists. And now we face his terrible day in court, where we will have to muster our strongest moral defenses to allow him a fair trial, while the Solomon family bury their dead and bemoan the loss of their loved ones. Grandfather, father, sister; beloved members of our communities, parents and children who will not celebrate another Shabbat dinner with their newborn children.
We wish Tova a quick and full recovery,although we all remained scarred and dealing with the aftermath of hate.
May those victims of the attack rest in peace and be of blessed memory for now and all of eternity.
It is up to each of us to get the real story out there, so that tomorrow we can call for an end to this exhausting, murderous terror and understand that it is Israel who wants true peace for our children and our future.
Speak of innocence, of Jewish fathers and grandfathers, children too, in their homes attacked by brute terrorists. Of false rhetoric and hidden agendas by Arab hate and a PA leadership irresponsible and inciteful.
May their deaths be avenged through the truth, and may we not have to speak of this again.
https://www.facebook.com/ruthjaffe.lieberman/posts/1617136151691892 (Warning: graphic photos)