TEL AVIV – Hundreds of residents from the community of Halamish gathered Sunday to begin construction of a new West Bank outpost as a response to Friday night’s Palestinian terror attack in the town that claimed the lives of three family members.
The new outpost was named Yad Ahi — “my brother’s hand” — in honor of the victims: Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46 and son Elad, 36.
Caravans, tents, tables and chairs were set up by the junction outside the settlement, blocking the eastern road open to Palestinian traffic. The same road was used by Palestinian terrorist Omar al-Abed to infiltrate the settlement on Friday night. Once he was over the fence, Abed entered a nearby home where some ten people were finishing their Shabbat meal and preparing to receive additional guests to celebrate the birth of a new grandson. Abed stabbed four people, killing three and injuring Yosef’s wife Tova, 68, who is still recovering from surgery.
For several months, the community had demanded the closure of the eastern road to Palestinian traffic, following a Palestinian arson attack in November 2016 that burned down 15 homes.
In the aftermath of Friday night’s terror attack, Halamish leaders convened to discuss ways to expand the community in order to link up with the neighboring settlement of Tzofit.
“There are hundreds of building plans that still require approval. … We are talking about state land that nobody has stolen,” Halamish spokesperson Ofir Steinbaum told the Times of Israel.
Nineteen-year-old Abed told investigators that by carrying out the stabbing attack, he was avenging Israel’s actions on the Temple Mount. A July 14 terror attack at the flashpoint holy site, in which three Israeli-Druze police officers were fatally shot by three Arab gunmen, led to the installation of metal detectors and other security measures at the entrances to the site, a move that Palestinians and Israeli Muslims are vehemently protesting with violent riots erupting in the city on a daily basis.