Israeli mother of 6 dies protecting her children from terrorist

Dafna Meir, 39, was attacked in her own home in Otniel in the West Bank by a Palestinian. He came to her door Sunday night and tried to force his way into her house. Three of Dafna’s children were home at the time, and would surely have been hurt – or even killed – had their mother not struggled so valiantly against her assailant, who was armed with a knife.

Dafna suffered multiple stab wounds in her upper body and had already gone into cardiac arrest by the time paramedics arrived. Attempts to resuscitate her failed and she was declared dead at the scene.

However, this brave woman succeeded in keeping her children from harm, as the attacker fled before Dafna finally succumbed to her injuries. She leaves behind her husband, four children aged 11 to 17, and two foster children, both under five. Dafna’s 17 year old daughter witnessed her mother’s desperate fight and described the terrorist to authorities.

The perpetrator was caught Monday night as the IDF combed the area. He was identified as a 16 year old Palestinian and arrested on suspicion of murder. His father was reported in Palestinian media as saying he was proud of his son’s actions.

Dafna was described by a neighbor as a “happy woman, joyful, optimistic, driven, loving.” She worked as a nurse in the neurosurgery department of Soroka Medical Center, Beersheva. She also provided pre-marital counseling for brides in her village.

She was laid to rest in Jerusalem on Monday. Hundreds joined the funeral procession, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, and Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan. As all of Israel mourns for Dafna, her defiant spirit lives on in the nation.


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