JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Palestinian teen was arrested for the murder of Dafna Meir, an Israeli mother of six who was stabbed to death in her West Bank home.
The suspect, 16, was arrested overnight on Monday in a Palestinian village near the scene of the attack, where he was hiding out, the IDF said. He reportedly was given away by local residents.
The arrest was part of a joint IDF and Shin Bet security service operation. The Palestinian teen was taken in for questioning.
The suspect, named as Morad Bader Abdullah Adais, is accused of entering Meir’s home in Otniel and stabbing her to death, while three of her children were at home. Meir’s 17-year-old daughter gave police a description of the killer. He reportedly confessed to the attack.
Hundreds attended Meir’s funeral Monday morning. At the time of the funeral, a pregnant Israeli mother was stabbed by a teenage Palestinian attacker in Tekoa in the Gush Etzion bloc.
The U.S. State Department in a statement issued on Monday condemned the two attacks “in the strongest terms.”
“We were appalled and deeply saddened by the death of Dafna Meir, a mother of six, who was attacked on Sunday in her own home. We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends and community. Today, a pregnant Israeli woman, Michal Froman, was stabbed in the West Bank. We wish her a full and complete recovery. These horrific incidents underscore the importance of affirmative steps to restore calm, reduce tensions and bring an immediate end to the violence,” the statement issued by department spokesman John Kirby said.
The statement came as U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, speaking Monday at a Tel Aviv conference organized by the Institute for National Security Studies, accused Israel of having “two standards of adherence to rule of law in the West Bank – one for Jews and one for Palestinians.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Otniel on Tuesday morning, where he received a security briefing and paid a condolence call to the Meir family.
“Whoever wants to see the truth about the roots of the conflict between us and the Palestinians should come to Otniel and see here a wonderful family that only wants coexistence and peace. They should see the young people, inflamed by incitement, who come to murder women here, a mother of six, and in Tekoa, a pregnant woman; they come to murder them and say: We will destroy you all, in Tel Aviv and Jaffa as well. This is the truth. There is humanity here and the desire for peace and coexistence on one side and boundless hatred on the other,” Netanyau said in Otniel.
“The root of the conflict is the refusal to recognize the Jews’ right to a have a state within any borders, here, in Tel Aviv, anywhere. I want to spread this truth to the world and I want us to stand on the truth because the truth will win in the end, and so will we,” he said.