Omar al-Abd al-Jalil, the terrorist who in July murdered three members of the Salomon family, Hy”d, in their home in the Binyamin town of Chalamish, was sentenced Thursday to four life terms in prison. He was convicted two months ago on numerous counts of murder, attempted murder, incitement, weapons possession, and other security charges. Five other members of his family were also convicted of being accessories and providing assistance to the terrorist in the murders.
In the attack, al-Abd walked from his village to Chalamish and carried out the attack, murdering three people – Yosef Salomon, Hy”d, age 70, his daughter Chaya Salomon, Hy”d, 46, and Elad Salomon, Hy”d, 36 – as the family gathered for Shabbos in the home of Yosef, the family patriarch, to celebrate the birth of a grandson.
Commenting on the sentencing, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that “there is no number of life sentences that will be enough to punish this human animal, who is still smiling at the thought of what he did. My heart is with the Salomon family.”
MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) said that “the death penalty would have wiped the smile off the face of this animal. Instead, he will now get a regular salary from Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, as well as food, drink and perks that we will be paying for throughout his life. We must continue pushing our legislation mandating the death penalty in cases like these.”
While the panel of judges voted for the life sentences, one of the members of the three-judge panel, Dov Gilboa, voted to impose the death penalty on the terrorist. “I watched the defendant as he smiled in front of the family when they recounted the murder. A defendant like this deserves just one punishment – the death penalty,” he noted in the protocols of the decision. In the majority opinion, the judges wrote that “we considered the death penalty for this case. Words cannot express the horrible travesty committed by the defendant. We call on the government not to release him in any future prisoner release deals.”
Speaking to Yediot Acharonot, Michal Salomon, widow of Elad Salomon, Hy”d, one of al-Abd’s victims, said that she advocated not just home demolition, but the death penalty for terrorists. “For so many years, we have been sending terrorists to prison, even for lifetime sentences, and it has not deterred other terrorists from committing attacks,” she said. “Nothing will bring back our loved ones. The purpose here is not to satisfy our feelings, but to prevent the next murder. After so many years of ineffective jail sentencing, we believe it is time to try the death penalty.”