Israel to charge family of Palestinian who killed three settlers for failing to stop him

IDF files pre-indictment notice against five members of Omar al-Abed’s family and demolishes their West Bank home

Wednesday 16 August 2017 13:03 BST
The Facebook status posted by 19-year-old Omar al-Abed the same evening he attacked and killed three members of an Israeli settler family
The Facebook status posted by 19-year-old Omar al-Abed the same evening he attacked and killed three members of an Israeli settler family

Five members of the family of Omar al-Abed, the Palestinian who murdered three members of an Israeli settler family in revenge for Palestinian deaths in last month’s violence around Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque, are to be charged with a criminal offence for failing to inform the authorities of his intentions.

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) prosecutors have moved to indict Abed’s father, Abed al-Jalil, his mother, Ibtisam al-Jalil, two of his brothers and another relative on the charge of “failing to prevent a crime”, a statement said on Wednesday.

According to the prosecution, the family were aware Abed was planning an attack, but did not try to stop him. The family home was demolished earlier this morning, the IDF said, a commonly used move which is supposed to act as a deterrent.

Metal detectors removed from holy site by Israel authorities

19-year-old Abed of Kobar snuck over a wall into the Israeli West Bank settlement town of Halamish on 21 July. He entered a home while a family were eating Shabbat dinner and stabbed to death 70-year-old Yosef Salomon and two of his children, Elad, 36, and Chaya, 46. Yosef’s wife Tova, 68, was hospitalised with serious wounds.

Another family member managed to lock the children present in another room and call the police. A neighbour heard the commotion and brought the incident to an end by shooting Abed non-fatally.

Abed was motivated by last month’s tensions over access to the al-Aqsa mosque. After the murder of two police officers near the holy site, which is also revered in Judaism and Christianity, Israeli authorities argued that new security measures such as metal detectors and CCTV cameras were necessary.

The new equipment led to protests – many of which turned violent – because it was widely viewed by Palestinians as an attempt to exert greater control over the compound.

Abed stated his intentions in a Facebook post shortly before the attack was carried out – which it is alleged his family saw and discussed, but did not report.

“These are my last words. I am young, not yet 20... I had many dreams and aspirations, but what kind of life is this, with our women and youths murdered without justification?” he wrote.

“They desecrate the al-Aqsa mosque and we are asleep, it’s a disgrace that we sit idly by,” he said, adding that Palestinians who had weapons “only take them out for weddings and celebrations: are you not ashamed of yourselves?”

Abed’s mother Ibtisam al-Jalil was arrested after the attack on incitement charges for saying she was proud of her son and hoped that “other sons would do the same”, the IDF said at the time.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in