A terrorist on Sunday evening fatally wounded 38-year-old Dafna Meir outside her Otniel home south of Hebron, making her the 28th Israeli murder victim by terrorist violence since the current terror wave began in September.
The police investigation revealed that the Meir's children had been present just inside the home. Security forces began searching the area for the knife-wielding assailant, who fled shortly after the 5:30pm attack, reportedly in the direction of a Palestinian town. Police said they did not know the terrorist's identity, but that he may have worked as a laborer in the area.
Meir leaves behind six children between the ages of four and 17. Right-wing activist Yehuda Glick, a friend and neighbor of the family, said they told him that the terrorist had wanted to hurt the children, but that tiny Dafna protected them with all her might as she lay dying.
Har Hevron Regional Council chief Yochai Damari said that one of the Meir's daughters witnessed the murder and saw the killer flee. He added that two other children were inside the house and saw their mother moments after she was mortally wounded. According to Damari, Meir's eldest daughter told him the terrorist ran away because he couldn't remove the knife from her mother's body.
Residents were instructed to stay in their homes and lock their doors and windows for several hours.
"It was a difficult sight," said Noam Bar, a senior Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic who was at the scene. "We saw a women, about 40 years old, unconscious, not breathing and without a pulse. She had stab wounds in her upper body, we performed prolonged resuscitation attempts, but were forced in the end to call a time of death."
In mid-November 2015, Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his son Netanel were murdered in a terrorist shooting attack near Otniel, with several other family members in the car with them being lightly wounded.