(JTA) — A Palestinian teen was arrested in the stabbing murder of Dafna Meir, 38, an Israeli mother of six, in her West Bank home. The suspect, 16, was arrested overnight Monday in a Palestinian village near the scene of the attack, where he was hiding out, the Israel Defense Forces said. He reportedly was given up by local residents.
The arrest of Morad Bader Abdullah Adais was part of a joint IDF and Shin Bet security service operation. He reportedly confessed to the attack. 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. 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 Monday, Jan. 18, condemned the two attacks “in the strongest terms.” The statement came as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, speaking Jan. 18 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.”
While visiting Meir’s family in Otniel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “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. 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.”