IDF chief visits Otniel amid manhunt for terrorist in stabbing attack

Eisenkot's tour comes amid suspicions that attacker knew victim's family and therefore was familiar with their home.

January 18, 2016 10:08
1 minute read.

Security forces search for terrorist who killed Dafna Meir in Otniel on January 17, 2016

Security forces search for terrorist who killed Dafna Meir in Otniel on January 17, 2016

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot visited Otniel on Monday, hours after the stabbing terror attack that claimed the life of mother of six, Dafna Meir.

Eisenkot toured the area accompanied by OC Central Command, Maj.-Gen. Roni Nume, and the Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig.-Gen. Lior Carmeli, as well as other army chiefs, and received a briefing on the attempts to track down the terrorist.

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Eisenkot's tour came as security forces continued a widespread manhunt for the perpetrator responsible for Sunday's deadly stabbing attack as suspicions arose that the attacker knew the Meir family and therefore was familiar with their home.

On Sunday evening, a Palestinian terrorist entered Meir's home and stabbed her to death in front of her teenage daughter. The attacker then fled the scene in the South Hebron Hills and remained at large.

On Sunday night, the IDF significantly bolstered its number of forces engaged in the sweeps. 

Overnight between Sunday and Monday, Israeli security forces arrested 27 Palestinians, some of whom were suspected of terror activity and disturbing the order.

In addition, aerial searches in cooperation with the Israel Air Force employed the use of helicopters and drones in the area.

The leadership of the Otniel settlement, located in the southern Hebron Hills, decided on Sunday night to deny entry to Palestinians, amid suspicions that the assailant who killed Meir was possibly a Palestinian laborer in the West Bank community. 

The funeral procession for the 38-year-old terror victim embarked from her home community of Otniel at 9 a.m. Monday morning before it was set to arrive for a burial ceremony at 11 a.m. at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery.

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