A Jewish Israeli woman was stabbed and wounded Saturday evening in the Bedouin town of Rahat, in southern Israel. She sustained moderate injuries to her neck and was hospitalized for treatment, where her condition was later defined as lightly injured.
Security forces were treating the stabbing as a terror attack. The attack occurred as the woman, Shlomit Gonen, 65, a grandmother from nearby Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev, was shopping with family members in the town’s open market.
Eyewitnesses said an Arab youth of about 20 years of age stabbed her before fleeing the scene. Large numbers of security forces were searching for the assailant, and set up roadblocks in the area.
Channel 2 said that the assailant was most likely a Palestinian in Israel illegally.
Local Rahat politicians condemned the killing, and urged the security forces to catch the terrorist as soon as possible.
An eyewitness to the attack identified only as Salam told Army Radio that “a youth in a red shirt and hat stabbed the woman and ran out of the market. The police arrived within 10 minutes and ambulances came even sooner.”
A Magen David Adom paramedic who treated the wounded woman said that she was fully conscious. “We placed her in the [ambulance] and administered first aid treatment en route to the hospital,” he said. The victim was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
The stabbing came during an upsurge in Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets, some deadly and many involving knives. On Thursday, two 13-year-old Arab Israeli girls stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard in their hometown of Ramle.