The family of First Sergeant A., the soldier who neutralized the terrorist who murdered three members of the Salomon family responded to news that A. had been awarded a citation and his father a certificate of appreciation for their actions to stop the attack.
"Today we received notice of the awarding of the citation and the certificate of appreciation with mixed feelings. We did our civic duty as every citizen and neighbor would have,” the family said.
"We would prefer to turn back the clock in order to get back our dear and beloved neighbors, the Salomon family, and at this moment our hearts are with them."
Earlier, it was announced that Head of Central Command Roni Numa had decided to award a citation to IDF soldier A. for neutralizing the terrorist who infiltrated the community of Neve Tzuf (Halamish) in Samaria and murdered three members of the Salomon family.
In addition, a certificate of appreciation will be given to the soldier’s father, Shimon Maoz, for civilian heroism.
The combat soldier's award is for "showing of composure, engaging the enemy and dedication to task in neutralizing the terrorist, while showing courage and judgment that led to the prevention of a greater disaster." A certificate of appreciation to his father will be given for "displays of courage, engaging the enemy and exemplary citizenship in participating in the neutralization of the terrorist and the prevention of a greater disaster."
First Sergeant A. serves in the IDF's elite Oketz Unit, which is the IDF's canine special forces unit.
A., who is 22, was home on leave when he heard screams coming from his neighbor's home on Friday night. Taking his gun from the safe, A. ran outside, climbed over the neighbors' wall, and shot the terrorist in the stomach - right through the window. The terrorist fell through the floor, and the Salomons' daughter-in-law and her five children were spared.
In his subsequent account of the incident, A. said, "While my family ate the Friday night meal, we heard screams from the direction of our neighbor's home. My father and I went out to see what was happening... I ran back home to get my weapon."
"I stood outside the house and saw the terrorist through the window. I knew that I couldn't lose my cool, I had to be professional and controlled....It seems I was at the right place at the right time.
"I try to focus on the fact that what I did prevented what could have been a worse tragedy. But this is not the first time we have experienced something like this."