More than 10,000 Israelis, including government ministers and Members of Knesset, descended on the city of Modi’in for the joint funeral of Yosef, 70, Chaya, 46, and Elad Salomon, 36, on Sunday, July 23.
The three were butchered in their home in the West Bank settlement of Neve Tzuf on Friday night, July 21.
There terrorist, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, was shot but survived. He justified his murder in a Facebook post addressed to Jews. He wrote that he planned to take revenge for Israel’s “defiling” of the al-Aqsa mosque. He also wrote:
“You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of Al-Aqsa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you.” [See Lively Opinion, page 4.]
The murder in Neve Tzuf followed a terrorist attack by three Israeli Arabs, who murdered two Israeli Druze officers on the Temple Mount, July 14; and Israel’s temporary closure of the mount to install metal detectors, which since have been removed due to an international outcry led by the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.
On July 25, Doug Seserman, president and CEO of JEWISHcolorado, issued a statement condemning the Friday night attack:
“Our hearts are broken knowing another Israeli family is destroyed, another community is ripped apart, and a country and its people are in mourning.
“As always, the people of Israel are in our hearts, our hopes and our prayers.
“We condemn any loss of life and pray for reason and calm to prevail. We send our deepest condolence to the Salomon family, and wish a full and speedy recovery to the injured.”
Yosef Salomon’s wife, Tova, 68, was seriously injured in the incident while several other family members, who had gathered for Shabbat to celebrate a birth in the family, were home at the time of the attack but escaped unharmed.
At around 10 p.m. on Friday night, Omar al-Abed a 19-year-old Palestinian from the nearby village of Kobar, burst into the home and stabbed the grandfather of the family and his son and daughter. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
The terrorist was shot by an off-duty soldier who heard screams coming from the house.
The terrorist survived and was also taken to hospital before being questioned by security officials.
The mother of the murderer, Ibtisam al-Abed, was arrested for “aggravated incitement.” She said in a statement captured on video and widely distributed on social media:
“Praise Allah, I am proud of my son. May Allah be pleased with him.”
On the Monday after the triple murder, the al-Abed family hosted guests and Ibtisam al-Aabed handed out sweets. The Israel Defense Froces said she “called for attacks on Jews.”
Ran Menzli, who is married to one of the Salomon’s daughters, eulogized his sister-in-law Chaya as a heroine who used her last ounce of strength to stagger out of the house to call help after she had been fatally stabbed, thus preventing a greater tragedy.
He also spoke about Elad Salomon, whose middle name, Menachem, means “comforter” and noted that the murders occurred ahead of the Hebrew month Av, traditionally a time for tragedy to strike the Jewish people.
Menzli called his brother-in-law a “hero who fought the accursed terrorist” and prevented him from getting upstairs to murder more people, before breaking down in tears.
“But how do you console five innocent children? You gave your life for your wife, Michal, and the kids. We will take care of Michal, of Avinoam, of Reut, of Amitai, of the sweet baby twins Ariel and Avishai. Please pray to G-d that we have had enough suffering,” Menzli said.
Michal Salomon, the wife of Elad, who ran with the children to the safety of an upstairs room that she locked before calling security services, in a eulogy called him the “perfect husband” and her best friend.
“Now you are not here for me and it scares me,” she said. “In the last two days I have received so much strength from people I don’t know. You don’t know how much you have helped me.”
Tovah Salomon, 68, Yosef’s wife and mother to the two other victims, was allowed to leave the hospital for the funeral; she had been seriously injured in the attack.
Several hundred mourners formed a human chain from the Salomon home to the cemetery, with Israeli flags lining the winding road from Neve Tzuf, also known as Halamish, towards the coastal plain.
Rabbi Yonatan Glass, rabbi of the community, eulogized the victims as a family that was centered “on spreading happiness.”
“Only a person with no glimmer of humanity could have acted against Yossi (Salomon) and his family. Yossi made everyone he was around happy.
“He was a generous donor, both to community causes and to poor families,” Glass said.
The mayor of the city of Elad, home to Elad Salomon and his family, vowed to double and triple the size of the city located on the seam between central Israel and the West Bank.
On Saturday night, July 22, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin called on the international community to denounce the attack, and to join with the State of Israel in the war against terror and incitement.
“One who does not denounce terror is a partner to it, and has a hand in the deterioration of the whole region into a needless, bloody war, which no one wants,” he said.
“We embrace the members of the family into our hearts, and are inspired by the courage and composure of a mother who stood alone in the face of such horror, and by the IDF soldier who brought an end to the terrible campaign of murder,” Rivlin said.
IJN, JTA contributed to this story.