The 15-year-old Palestinian terrorist who stabbed mother-of-six Dafna Meir to death on January 19 in the West Bank community of Otniel was under the influence of broadcasts by Palestinian Authority TV, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation has found.
A statement released on Sunday on the progress of the investigation said the minor, who was arrested in his home in Beit Amra, near Hebron, disclosed during questioning that “in the period of time preceding the terrorist attack,” he watched “PA television, which presented Israel as a state that ‘kills Palestinian youths.’” On the day of the attack, “under the influence of the content he saw on television, the minor decided to carry out a stabbing attack in order to murder a Jewish person.”
Due to Otniel’s proximity to his home village, the minor chose to strike there. After arriving at Otniel, he spotted Meir and stabbed her repeatedly before fleeing.
The terrorist incident “underscores, once again, the severity of the threat posed by the wild incitement that is ongoing against the state of Israel and Jews in the Palestinian media, which influences lone attackers and causes them to carry out acts of murder and terrorism,” the ISA added.
Last week, following intensive intelligence and operational activities, Duvdevan unit members accompanied by Shin Bet intelligence agents tracked down the suspect. They moved in on the teenager’s home overnight between Monday and Tuesday, arresting him in his bed and taking him into custody.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon last week paid tribute to Dafna Meir, a “virtuous woman” whose many remarkable accomplishments became known to the public in recent days, he said.
“The great loss is even more prominent in light of the cruelty of the 15-year-old murderer, who grew up in an environment that taught him from the time he was a baby to hate, and to sanctify death – as did the youth who recently carried out an attempted murder in Tekoa. This is the result of the kind of education in the PA from infancy through kindergartens and schools. This is the outcome,” Ya’alon said.
Ya’alon praised the work of the IDF and the Shin Bet in capturing the terrorist.
“There is a wave of terrorism. We will know how to defeat it, I have no doubt. It requires determination and awareness, but eventually we will defeat it,” he said.