OneFamily is stunned and deeply saddened by the murder of border guard Solomon Gavriyah, 20, from Be’er Yaakov, and security guards Youssef Ottman, 25, from Abu Ghosh and Or Arish, 25, from Har Adar.
All three were killed in a shooting attack at the gate of Har Adar, near Jerusalem. The terrorist had joined a group of Palestinian workers passing through the gate, but had drawn suspicion from the security guards on duty. When security ordered him to stop, he pulled out a handgun hidden under his shirt and opened fire, killing three and seriously wounding a fourth man.
Security then fired back at the terrorist, killing him. All three Israeli heroes gave their lives to protect the residents of Har Adar and prevent a much larger attack.
Gavriyah had served on the border guard for 18 months. A year ago, a terrorist had targeted the same area. Gavriyah captured the terrorist, who then stabbed him, wounding him seriously. However, Gavriyah insisted on returning to his guard duties only two months later.
He leaves behind his parents and two sisters and a brother.
Both Utman and Arish were civilian security guards employed by the town. Arish was also a resident of the town. At his funeral, held the day of his murder, the eulogy was delivered by this uncle, Yaakov Hayun.
“He was a special boy. Served in the paratroopers. After his release, we tried finding a direction for him in life and he started a security course and started working in the field several months ago. He was a charming boy everyone loved,” he said.
Ottman came from a prominent Abu Ghosh family and is survived by his parents and siblings. His sister was married last week. “The whole family was celebrating and suddenly, what happened happened,” said Abu Ghosh mayor Issa Jaber.
Ottman also had experience with terror. His cousin had been murdered in 1997 in an attack on the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem. His father said he believed Ottman knew the terrorist personally.
The terrorist, a 37-year-old father of four who had been granted a work permit to enter the area, was well known in the town. He had previously worked there as a cleaner. Residents – as well as other Arab workers – were shocked by his turn to terror and the ramifications his actions could have on Israeli-Arab relations in the town.
The attack was only the second since 2015 carried out by a Palestinian holding a work permit. The terrorist had passed the government’s complex vetting process and was not seen as a threat. However, Har Adar residents who knew him said his marriage had recently crumbled – his wife left him two weeks earlier – and he was feeling a great deal of strain looking after his four children.
“My condolences go out to the families of the deceased, and I also wish a speedy recovery to the settlement’s military security coordinator who was also injured,” said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He added that Israel would demolish the terrorist’s home, surround his village, and revoke the work permits of his immediate family.
A Hamas spokesman praised the attack and called for others to follow the example. “The terror attack in the Jerusalem area is a new chapter in the Al-Quds intifada that proved all attempt to Judaize the city will not change the fact that Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city, whose residents and tourists will redeem in blood or life.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said this type of incitement leads to more attacks against Israelis. “The Palestinian Authority continues to incite to murder Jews and glorify and praise murderers. This is the main reason for the atmosphere of incitement in the media and social networks that leads to terrorist attacks against the citizens of Israel,” he said.