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Woman, 70, dies of snake bite in northern Israel

Town of Jisr az-Zarka mourns Najia Jablawi as a ‘very respected woman who provided for her family’

Illustrative photo: A viper (photo credit: CC-BY-H. Krisp, Wikimedia Commons)
Illustrative photo: A viper (photo credit: CC-BY-H. Krisp, Wikimedia Commons)

A 70-year-old woman died Monday after she was bitten by a venomous snake in an orchard in northern Israel.

Najia Jablawi, from the Arab Israeli town of Jisr az-Zarka, was picking fruit in a field south of the community of Binyamina when she was bitten in the hand by a viper.

Paramedics said they found her unconscious and in critical condition and attempted to resuscitate her before taking her to Hillel Yaffe hospital in Hadera, where doctors pronounced her dead.

Sheikh Murad Amash, head of the Jisr az-Zarka local council, told the Walla news site that Jablawi “was a very respected woman who raised her children and grandchildren and provided for the family. Everyone loved her. Her tragic death caused sadness in my heart and in the hearts of all residents of Jisr az-Zarka.”

Local vipers, Vipera palaestinae, are the most common venomous snakes found in Israel. They grow to an average length of 90 centimeters (36 inches) and are mainly nocturnal. Their venom contains a hematoxin that damages blood circulation and the lymphatic system. They generally feed on small rodents, toads, and birds.

A similar incident occurred in May, when 24-year-old Mahmoud Aboud died two days after he was bitten by a viper near the village of Bir al-Maksur in the Galilee region.

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