An Israeli woman was murdered in a stabbing attack late Sunday afternoon in Otniel, a town in the southern Har Hevron region of Judea.
The woman has since been identified as 39-year-old Dafna Meir, a mother to six children, two of them foster children. She was initially critically wounded in the attack and succumbed to her wounds shortly after.
The Arab terrorist who carried out the attack succeeded in breaking into the town, entering the woman's home and murdering her before fleeing the scene.
The woman, who works as a nurse, fought with the terrorist at the entrance to her home as her children were nearby, according to testimony. The children did not see the attack but heard her shouts and came running, and then called up security forces to hunt the murderer.
Security forces are currently pursuing the terrorist, aided by a helicopter, and residents of the town were asked to stay in their homes during the manhunt. The IDF has clarified that the terrorist is no longer in the town.
Witnesses of the attack have said the terrorist worked in the town and used his familiarity with the community to carry out the attack.
Meir will be buried on Monday morning. The funeral procession will leave from Otniel at 9 a.m. towards Jerusalem, and will arrive at 11 a.m. at Har Hamenuhot Cemetery in the northwestern Givat Shaul neighborhood of the capital.
Noam Bar, a senior Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic, said, "the sight was difficult, we saw an unconscious woman aged around 40, who was not breathing and had no pulse."
"She suffered from stab wounds to her upper body; we performed continued resuscitation but in the end we were forced to pronounce her death," said Bar.
Former Interior Minister Eli Yishai, chair of the Yachad party which narrowly failed to enter the Knesset, responded to the murder by blaming the radical leftist groups B'Tselem and Breaking the Silence.
"I am shocked by the murderous attack in Otniel. The cruelty of the murderers knows no bounds," said Yishai. "Again we come across the face of uninhibited evil. An awful murder of a Jewish woman hy''d in her private home, with her only 'sin' being that she was an Israeli Jew."
"The struggle against incitement needs to be escalated. The Palestinian incitement at the side of the Israeli (incitement) managed by leftist organizations B'Tselem and Breaking the Silence is responsible for another despicable murder. God will avenge her blood."
The attack came just minutes after a stabbing was thwarted at the western gate of Kiryat Arba, which leads to Hevron. In that incident, a female Arab terrorist was apprehended with a knife in her handbag before she was able to inflict any wounds.
Video from the terrorist's arrest shows security forces neutralizing her. To watch click the image below.
That thwarted stabbing was the third of the day; earlier an Arab terrorist attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at the Samaria Regional Brigade Junction in Samaria (also known as Bahad 3), but was shot dead by soldiers before he was able to harm anyone.
Before that attempt, a potentially major serious attack was thwarted outside a Jerusalem synagogue, as three Arab youths were arrested after having been found armed with knives outside the Heichal Yaakov synagogue in Kiryat Moshe.
The three are believed to have planned to carry out an attack on the synagogue as it was packed with worshipers attending morning prayers.