Scene of the massacre
Scene of the massacreHadas Parush/Flash90

An IDF court is slated to hear opening arguments Wednesday in the sentencing phase of the murder trial of a 19-year-old Arab terrorist responsible for the slaughter of three Israelis at a family celebration in the southwestern Samaria town of Halamish (Neve Tzuf).

On Friday, July 21st, 19-year-old terrorist Omer al-Abed drove to Halamish via Route 450, snuck into the town, and broke into the Salomon family home, and proceeded to stab those he found inside.

The Salomons, who were celebrating the birth of their grandson, was hosting a family gathering that Shabbat.

Four members of the Salomon family were wounded in the massacre, three of them fatally, including Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Haya, 46, and his son Elad, 36.

According to a report by the Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, Dan Landau, the father of Michal Salomon, who survived the attack and saved her children by hiding in a room upstairs during the slaughter, is expected to testify at the trial.

In a prepared statement he is expected to deliver with his daughter, Landau recalled the massacre.

“The Salomon family was sitting there, celebrating the new life, and the house was full of light. But their light and innocent joy enraged the evil [terrorist]. The murderer broke into the house – that wicked soul filled with a lust for murder – looking towards the moment when he could kill and crush.”

“Michal said that the terrorist was smiling when he broke into the house. His happy countenance showed that he was not a believer, who felt he had to do something unpleasant – but a person with evil inclinations looking to satisfy his lust for violence. The villain waved his knife in the air, then stabbed and stabbed again. He never got tired of shedding blood. If he hadn’t been stopped by a bullet from the IDF soldier [name redacted]’s gun, there’d be 10 graves [not just 3].”

The surviving members of the Salomon family have called on the court to sentence the terrorist to death – and have called on the Prime Minister to ensure that the sentence is carried out.

According to a report in August, however, Yediot Ahronot wrote that the prosecution had decided not to seek the death penalty for the terrorist, despite the Prime Minister’s backing for such a punishment.