TEL AVIV – An Israeli widow met with White House officials to express her dismay that the family of her husband’s murderer – who also killed two other relatives at their Shabbat table in July – would begin receiving a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority as a reward for carrying out the terror attack.
Michal Salomon’s husband, father-in-law and sister-in-law were stabbed to death on a Friday night by a Palestinian terrorist, Omar al-Abed, as they were about to celebrate the birth of a new child in the West Bank settlement of Halamish. Salomon and her five children escaped and the terrorist was shot dead by an off-duty soldier.
Salomon met with Trump’s Mideast negotiator Jason Greenblatt and “expressed dismay that the [family of the] terrorist would be receiving compensation from the Palestinian Authority for his action,” a senior White House official told the Times of Israel on Tuesday.
Also at the meeting were National Security Council staffer Victoria Coates, Salomon’s father Shlomo Dan Lando, her cousin Brian Zvi Lando, and her children — Avinoam, Reut, Amitay, Ariel and Avishay, the report said.
Her disappointment comes ahead of a critical vote on the the Taylor Force Act—named after a U.S. Army veteran killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv—that would force the Palestinian Authority to end its “pay-for-slay” program providing financial rewards to convicted terrorists or else forfeit aid.
At the time of the Halamish attack, Palestinian social media users praised the “heroic” slaying of the family.
The bill will likely attract bipartisan support in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, paving the way for a full vote on the House floor.
Although the Trump administration has repeatedly condemned the PA’s practice of paying remunerations to terrorists and their families – which can reach as much as $3,300 per month – it stopped short of outright endorsement of the bill amid fears it could derail attempts to jumpstart the moribund peace process.
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration had begun drafting a proposal based on the two-state solution with the aim of reaching a final status Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
“We have spent a lot of time listening to and engaging with the Israelis, Palestinians and key regional leaders over the past few months to help reach an enduring peace deal,” the Times quoted Special Negotiator to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt as saying. “We are not going to put an artificial timeline on the development or presentation of any specific ideas and will also never impose a deal.”
“Our goal is to facilitate, not dictate, a lasting peace agreement to improve the lives of Israelis and Palestinians and security across the region,” he added.
The White House official said Salomon talked with Greenblatt about “the problem of incitement to violence, and expressed hope that this practice would end so a lasting peace arrangement can be reached.”
Greenblatt, an Orthodox Jew, visited the Salomon’s home in Halamish while they were sitting shiva in the week following the attack.