A Palestinian man convicted of murdering three members of an Israeli family as they sat around their Shabbat table in a West Bank settlement was given four life sentences.
Omar al-Abed, 20, who stabbed to death the three members of the Salomon family in July, also was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to the family.
During the sentencing hearing, the military court judges acknowledged that they had considered the death penalty, which the Salomon family and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman had called for. In a minority opinion, Judge Dov Gilboa argued for the death penalty, stating that Abed “enjoyed the whole trial with a smile,” The Times of Israel reported.
An Israeli court has only sentenced one person to death — Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader and a principal architect of the Holocaust.
Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36, were killed in the attack on the family home in of Halamish, where they were gathered to celebrate the birth of a baby boy in the family. Tovah Salomon, 68, Yosef’s wife and mother to the two other victims, was stabbed and seriously injured. Michal Solomon, the wife of Elad, ran with the couple’s five children to the safety of an upstairs room that she locked before calling security services.
Abed, who comes from a Palestinian village near Halamish, was stopped from continuing his attack when a soldier on weekend leave who lived next door shot him through the window of the house.
The floor of the family home where Abed lived was sealed with cement by the military, though the Salomon family has petitioned to demolish the entire structure.