The IDF said on Wednesday it will award a commendation to a staff sergeant who shot and wounded the terrorist who fatally stabbed three members of the Salomon family in Halamish (Neveh Tzuf) last month.
“A special commendation from the Judea and Samaria Division commander will be awarded to staff-sergeant A. for displaying calm under fire, determination and dedication while neutralizing the terrorist while operating courageously and level-headedly to prevent a greater tragedy,” the army said.
In addition, OC Central Command Maj.- Gen. Roni Numa, will give a certificate of appreciation to the soldier’s father, Shimon Maoz, for “courage, determination, dedication and exemplary citizenship for preventing a greater tragedy,” the statement added.
Numa approved the commendation following the recommendation of the Command Committee headed by his chief of staff, Col. Ofer Hindi.
On July 21, Omar al-Abed, 19, from Kobar, near Ramallah, infiltrated the settlement of Halamish and entered a family home where he stabbed to death Yossi Salomon and his adult children Elad and Chaya, and wounded the mother of the family, Tova Salomon.
St.-Sgt. A., a neighbor who serves in the IDF’s Oketz canine unit, heard the screams of the victims from his home, took his handgun and ran to the Salomon home with his father where he shot one bullet through a window, “neutralizing” Abed.
A. and his father then entered the house, saw the terrorist had been neutralized and summoned security forces.
The soldier’s response has been credited with preventing further harm to the Salomon family, one of whose members, Elad Solomon’s wife, hid with small children on an upper floor as the attack took place.
“I understood immediately what was happening – I saw the terrorist and shot him through the window,” A. said, adding that he “understood the situation thoroughly. I shot into [the house] from outside. I didn’t think a lot, I acted immediately.”
IDF Spokesperson Maj.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said 15 minutes passed from the moment Abed crossed the fence of the settlement to when A. shot him.
Abed told interrogators he carried out the attack because of the tensions surrounding the Temple Mount, and, just before he left his village to carry out the attack, had published a Facebook post saying he was expecting to die.
Early on Wednesday morning, personnel from the Binyamin Brigade and the Israel Police arrested Abed’s father and brother and transferred them for questioning by security services.