Six dead around West Bank and Jerusalem on Friday

By Daniel Uria  |  July 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM
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July 22 (UPI) -- A Palestinian stabbed a father, his son and his daughter to death in an Israeli settlement home on Friday evening, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The Israeli father, in his 60s, and his two children, both in their 40s, were killed and his wife was hospitalized in serious condition after a teenage assailant entered their home in the Halamish settlement with a knife as the family was eating Shabbat dinner, the Times of Israel reported.

Also on Friday, the New York Times reported, three Palestinian protesters were shot and killed in clashes with security forces in and around Jerusalem. At least two of the protesters were teenagers, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Israeli police said protesters Friday were combative with rocks and firebombs.

The West Bank attacker, identified as 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, climbed a fence and broke a window before entering the home and assaulting the family of 10. The Halamish settlement is located in the West Bank.

During the attack the mother, also in her 60s, managed to hide several of the grandchildren -- who were unharmed -- in another room while she called police and shouted that a terrorist had entered her home.

An Israel Defense Force soldier who was on leave heard the woman's screams and shot Abed through the window. The teenage attacker was wounded and taken to the hospital in moderate condition.

During questioning, Abed said he purchased the knife used in the stabbing two days prior with the intention of committing a terrorist attack in response to events surrounding security measures put in place at Al-Aqsa mosque, which is known in Judaism as the Temple Mount.

The Israel Defense Force also shared a photo of a Facebook post they said Abed wrote before the attack.

"I only have a knife -- where are the others who had guns to use only at weddings?" the IDF said Abed wrote. "I ask my family to forgive me, I know I will not return and I will go to heaven. Put in my grave Arafat's keffiyeh and the Ribbon of Al-Aqsa Brigades."

Haaretz reported that security forces said Abed identifies with militant Palestinian organization Hamas, but is not considered to be an active member. Hamas praised his actions as "heroic" and spokesman Hussam Badran called for others to "continue the intifada against the occupation at all friction points in support of the Al-Aqsa mosque."

Additional Israel Defense Force were placed in the West Bank area in fear of additional "copy cat" terrorist attacks.

Entry and exit from the village of Khobar was also prohibited on Saturday following the attack.

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