A Palestinian teenager has been detained on suspicion of breaking into a settlement home and killing an Israeli mother in front of three of her six children. The attack has shocked Israel at a time when violence has become a daily routine in the region since tensions flared up in September last year.
The Israeli military said its forces captured the suspected killer of 38-year-old Dafna Meir at the end of a large manhunt on 19 January. The suspect has been named as Morad Bader Abdullah Adais, aged 16. Adais was arrested at his home in Yatta, just a few miles from the West Bank settlement of Otniel where Meir was stabbed to death after a struggle over the weekend (17 January 2015). Three of her six children where at home at the time.
The eldest child, 17-year-old Renana, gave a description of the perpetrator to authorities after witnessing him fleeing from the scene. Hundreds of people attended Meir's funeral at the Givat Shaul cemetery on 18 January."I didn't just lose a mother, but also my best friend," Renana said at the ceremony, Ynet has reported.
In a sign of the poisonous atmosphere that has engulfed Israel and Palestine since the latest wave of violence began, Adais's father was quoted after the arrest as saying he was proud of his son's actions.
Some 25 Israelis and an American student have been killed by Palestinian attackers in the past few months. In the same period, at least 146 Palestinians, allegedly including more than 100 attackers, have lost their lives during Israeli fire.