Israel should respond with “extreme force” to the murder of Seraiah Ofer, a retired IDF colonel, who was killed in an apparent terrorist attack outside his home in the northern Jordan Valley overnight Thursday, Ofer’s widow said Saturday.
Speaking from her hospital bed at the HaEmek Medical Center in Afula, Monique (Mor) Ofer, who sustained light injuries while fleeing the murder scene, said her husband was killed by “two villains.”
“I feel like I lost the most precious thing in my life,” she said. “I lost an amazing man.”
She did not provide further details regarding the circumstances of her husband’s murder so as not to obstruct the ongoing investigation of the case.
At about 1 a.m. on Friday, Ofer, 61, and his wife, 51, heard noises outside their house in the Brosh Habika vacation village, which he owned and operated. When Ofer went out to investigate, he was attacked and beaten to death by men wielding metal bars and axes, she said later.
She ran from the house and stopped a passing car on a nearby road. She called for help and was taken to the Afula medical center by a Magen David Adom crew.
An eyewitness who was passing through the area told Walla News that she saw Monique with her leg “completely injured” on the road.
“We thought that it was a car accident, and then we realized what had happened,” said the witness, a Jerusalem resident. “She related that they heard the dog barking, her [husband] went outside, and then she saw they were beating him with clubs and iron rods. The woman ran away via the back door.”
Monique’s daughter said her mother had escaped through the bushes, and that “she crawled there for two hours, with no phone, no nothing.”
Five Palestinians were arrested Friday in connection with the suspected terror attack. The arrests came after several hours of searches and roadblocks by security forces in the area.
IDF Chief Benny Gantz called the attack “serious” and President Shimon Peres said “no one will rest” until the perpetrators were caught.
Officials initially said they were not sure whether the attack was nationalistically motivated or criminal in nature. However, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, “We strongly believe this was a terror attack.”
Over the last several weeks there has been an uptick in the number of suspected terror attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.
On Monday, two Palestinian men were arrested in connection to an October 5 terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Psagot. In that attack, a gunman infiltrated the settlement and shot a 9-year-old girl, Noam Glick. She was lightly wounded.
In September, two IDF soldiers were killed in separate incidents. Off-duty soldier Tomer Hazan was murdered by a Palestinian coworker at a Bat Yam restaurant who lured him to a village near Qalqilya. A second soldier, Gal Gabriel Kobi, was killed by what the army said was a sniper shot outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
Joshua Davidovich contributed to this report