Seraiah Ofer, a retired IDF colonel in his 50s, was killed in an apparent terrorist attack outside his home in the northern Jordan Valley overnight Thursday.
Ofer’s wife, Monique Mor Ofer, managed to run out of the house, located in the West Bank vacation village of Brosh HaBika, and escape the perpetrators, whom she identified as two Palestinians.
The couple reportedly heard noises outside the house, and when Ofer went out to investigate, he was attacked by men wielding axes and crowbars.
Mor, 50, sustained light injuries while fleeing the scene. She stopped a passing car on a nearby road at approximately 1 a.m. local time, reported Ynet, and called for help. She was taken to HaEmek Medical Center in Afula by a Magen David Adom crew.
A large IDF force was dispatched to search the area for the attackers. Roadblocks were set up in the Jordan Valley as well. Though security officials believe the incident to have been a terrorist attack, they were also investigating the possibility that the act was criminal in nature.
An eyewitness who was passing through the area told Walla News that she saw Mor 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.”
Mor’s daughter later added, after speaking with her at the hospital, that her mother had followed Ofer outside and heard voices in Arabic and saw flashlights.
She said her mother had escaped through the bushes, and that “she crawled there for two hours, with no phone, no nothing.”
There has been an uptick in the number of suspected terror attacks against Israelis in the West Bank over the last several weeks, officials say.
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. She was lightly wounded.
In September, two IDF soldiers were killed in separate incidents. One soldier, Tomer Hazan, was murdered by a Palestinian coworker 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.