The soldier, who is identified as ‘A’ and who serves in the elite Oketz canine special forces unit, heard the screaming and shot Omar al-Abed through the window, bringing the bloodletting to an end.
The murders occurred on July 21, 2017 when 19-year-old al-Abed from the nearby village of Kobar broke into the Salomon’s home in the settlement of Halamish (Neve Tzuf) on a Friday evening and stabbed four people as they celebrated their Shabbat meal.
Three of the victims—Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Haya Salomon, 46, and Elad Salomon, 35—died of their wounds while Yosef's wife Tovah Salomon, 68, was seriously wounded in the attack.
Elad Salomon's widow, Michal, took her five children into the next room and locked the door.
The meeting between A. and Michal took place as part of a special project launched by the Defense Ministry with the publication of the book entitled “Our Heroes”, marking Israel’s 70 years of independence.
The book is composed of pieces written by 70 people from various parts of the Israeli public about their military hero.
“When I asked to write about A. as a hero, it was obvious to me what I would write on the page,” said Michal.
“I wrote about a heroic character who does not look like a hero and does not talk like a hero. He is a quiet and modest hero, who did what he did with the modesty and quiet that characterizes him,” she added.
“A. did not talk about it in public, he didn’t take photos and didn’t make noise in the press. Even today, when you talk to him about it he is very modest. This is a heroic, quiet and modest character,” Michal continued.
A. also reflected on his meeting with Michal, saying that he too was able to draw inspiration from her and her family's determination to continue and celebrate life.
“The encounters with Michal will always leave a strong impression on me,” A. said. “She is a person with great strength. I have become someone who admires the Salomon family—how they derive faith and choose life. I just learn from them,” he said.
Michal said that every meeting with A. brings back memories of the night in which her family members were murdered.
“We have met on several occasions both in Israel and abroad. I always tell him that the small thing that he did saved all of our lives. For me, that is heroism. Our attitude is extremely positive. With all the pain, life goes on. A. is not a symbol of the attack, but a symbol of life that he gave,” she said.
Last September, A. was awarded a military citation for his act during a ceremony in Ma’ale Adumim.
His father Shimon also received a certificate of appreciation for taking action to stop the massacre by entering the home of the family.
In February this year, al-Abed was given four life sentences.