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Israeli Army: Palestinian Kills Israeli Woman in West Bank

  • VOA News

Israeli soldiers stand guard near the Jewish settlement of Otniel in the West Bank, Jan. 17, 2016, after a female resident of the settlement was stabbed to death in her home.

Israeli soldiers stand guard near the Jewish settlement of Otniel in the West Bank, Jan. 17, 2016, after a female resident of the settlement was stabbed to death in her home.

A Palestinian attacker broke into a West Bank Jewish settlement and fatally stabbed an Israeli woman in her home before fleeing Sunday, triggering a massive night manhunt.

The Israeli military also said the attack occurred hours after another Palestinian was shot dead by soldiers after trying to attack them with a knife.

The latest incidents come amid a four-month wave of violence that Israel says is driven by Palestinian incitement and the Palestinians say is rooted in frustration at decades of living under Israeli occupation. The conflict has killed 24 Israelis, along with an American and an Eritrean, and more than 150 Palestinians, but this was the first time an attack took place inside a settlement home.

In the later attack, the Palestinian slipped into the Otniel settlement, broke into the woman's home and killed her before fleeing the scene, the military said. Israeli police identified the slain woman as Dafna Meir and said she was a hospital nurse and a mother of six in her late 30s.

Otniel is located near Hebron, the West Bank's largest city and a frequent flashpoint of violence.

Residents of the settlement hid in their homes Sunday as Israeli forces blocked roads and lit the sky with flares while searching for the assailant.

Palestinians in neighboring villages said a major manhunt was underway, with army helicopters in the sky and heavy movement of military vehicles. Troops launched drones to help in the search, army radio reported.

The military said no soldiers were harmed in the earlier incident, which took place near a base south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

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