Omar al-Abed

From Real Life Villains Wiki
Words cannot describe the extent of the atrocity committed by the defendant
~ Sentencing judgement[1]
Omar al-Abed is a Palestinian terrorist who murdered three members of an Israeli family in July 2017. The teenager was angered by controversies surrounding management of a site that is holy to both Jews and Muslims following an earlier terror attack there. He is serving life despite one judge opining the remorseless killer should be executed.

Background

Abed lived in Kobar.[2] He was 19 at the time of the attack.[3] He was upset by tensions at the al-Asqa mosque, also revered by Jews as the Temple of the Mount. On July 14, 2017 three Israeli Arabs murdered two policemen after exiting the compound, with Israeli authorities sparking an angry backlash after installing metal detectors in response.[3] Abed put up a Facebook post shortly before his attack in which he complained of Israeli actions at the holy site in particular and, more generally, against Palestinians.[3] He said Palestinians should defend the mosque.[2]

The victims were the Saloman family who were celebrating a birth on the day of the murders.[1] They lived in Halamish,[4] also known as Neve Tzuf.[1]

Attack

On July 21, 2017 Abed conducted his attack.[2] He had hoped to use explosives or a gun but could not acquire these, so instead opted for a knife assault.[4] He gained access to Halamish bypassing four fences, one of which he cut, a second he crawled under, and two he climbed with the aid of nearby trees.[4] He selected the Saloman household after noticing it lit up and hearing laughter within.[2]

Yosef Salomon, 70, was fatally stabbed, as were his children Chaya Salomon, 46, and Elad Salomon, 36; his wife Tova, 68, was stabbed but survived.[1] Elad put up a fierce fight, at one stage wrestling the knife from Abed before being overpowered and stabbed to death.[4] Tova managed to escape upstairs shouting "terrorist!" where she hid with other members of the family.[2] They had opened the door when he knocked as they were expecting guests to celebrate the birth of a new grandson.[2] He asked "what about Al-Aqsa? and immediately began stabbing.[2]

The attack was halted when a neighbour, an off-duty soldier, heard the commotion and shot Abed; the killer survived and was subsequently detained before he could go upstairs to attack the other members of the family.[4]

Legal process

Abed smirked and smiled throughout his trial.[2] He was found guilty of all three murders and of attempting to murder the other seven people in the house.[3] The Military Advocate General did not seek the death penalty and instead proposed four life sentences, but the Judea Military Court still considered a possible death penalty but rejected this 2-1 as against military policy.[2] Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman had sought the death penalty,[1] with dissenting judge Dov Gilboa agreeing.[2] The court jailed Abed for life.[3]

Aftermath

The case sparked considerable debate on capital punishment within Israel.[4] Had Abed received the death penalty he would only be the second person in Israeli history to do so, the other being prominent Nazi Adolf Eichmann who was sentenced to death in 1962.[2]

The soldier who stopped Abed in his tracks received a bravery award and the army thanked him for his restraint in not shooting Abed more than necessary to stop the attack.[4] The army also used concrete to partially destroy the killer's family home in August 2017; the Salomans subsequently applied to the High Court for the home's complete destruction.[2] Also in August Abed's father, mother, an uncle and two brothers received short jail sentences for knowing of the impending attack but doing nothing to prevent it.[3]

The Palestinian Authority pays Abed a lifelong salary equivalent to $3,120 per month as a reward for the murders.[1]

References