(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)
The three Israelis killed in a terror attack at the Har Adar settlement Tuesday were named as border policeman Solomon Gavriyah, 20, and civilian security guards Youssef Ottman, 25, from Abu Ghosh and Or Arish, 25, a resident of Har Adar.
A third civilian — the head security officer of Har Adar — was seriously injured in the attack. He underwent surgery at the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem after suffering two bullet wounds and his condition was later described as stable and moderate.
According to police, the assailant arrived at the rear entrance of the settlement northwest of Jerusalem and opened fire on a group of security personnel, including Border Police officers and the community’s private guards, who were opening the entrance to Palestinian workers.
Gavriyah was from the central Israeli community of Be’er Yaakov. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant. Police said in a statement that he had joined the Border Police for his mandatory national service and had recently been serving as a policeman in the Jerusalem seam area along the boundary with the West Bank.
He will be buried at 5 p.m. in the Be’er Yaakov military cemetery. He is survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother.
Ottman was a resident of the Arab Israeli community of Abu Ghosh, close to Har Adar. He was expected to be buried later in the day in his hometown.
Arish’s funeral was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted that he had spoken with the mayor of Abu Ghosh about Ottman’s death.
“I spoke just now with Abu Ghosh Mayor Issa Jaber and I gave my condolences over the murder of security guard Youssef Ottman. The cursed terrorist carried out his plot this morning, but our way will win,” Erdan wrote.
In an interview with The Israel Project, Jaber described Ottman as “a quiet guy who got along with everyone.”
He said that Ottman came from an established and successful family and that he was survived by his parents and siblings, including a sister who was married last week.
“The whole family was celebrating and suddenly, what happened happened,” Jaber said.
Ottman, he recalled, didn’t finish high school and found work as a security guard in nearby Jewish settlements.
“[Ottman] always extended a helping hand to everyone and especially to the Palestinian workers who came in and out of the community where he worked,” Jaber added.
“As human beings we condemn every act of violence on any side; it doesn’t matter if it is Jewish or Arab,” he said.
Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal, a laborer from the nearby Bayt Surik village, was shot and killed by security forces at the scene, police said.
The 37-year-old approached the entrance to Har Adar just after 7 a.m. as part of a group of Palestinians who work in the settlement. The Shin Bet domestic security service said he did not have a known history of involvement in terrorist activities.
He “aroused the suspicion” of officers on the scene, who called for him to stop. The terrorist then took a pistol out of his shirt and shot at the Israelis, before being gunned down, police said.
The seriously injured victim was identified as Har Adar’s security coordinator. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and was fully conscious when he was taken to the hospital.
The head of general surgery at Hadassah Hospital, Alon Pikarsky, who operated on the man, said after the operation that, considering his wounds, the victim was lucky.
“The surgery passed well. The injured 33-year-old was hit by a bullet in the shoulder and a bullet in the waist. The bullet hit his spleen and diaphragm and after we dealt with those organs the orthopedic team took out the bullets. He is completely stable, breathing on his own, and is recovering at the moment in the intensive care unit at Hadassah. He really was very lucky.”
Police said Jamal, the terrorist, was a father of four who possessed a legal work permit, making him one of only a few Palestinians with such a document to commit a terror attack in recent years.
Jamal’s wife had recently left him and the Shin Bet said he suffered from “significant personal and family problems.”
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