A retired Israeli army colonel was killed and his wife injured in a attack on their home early Friday in the Israeli settlement of Brosh in the West Bank.
According to local media reports, the slain officer, Sarya Ofer, went outside after hearing a noise at about 1 a.m. when two men attacked him with iron bars and axes and bludgeoned him to death. His wife, Monique, was also injured, but was able to alert help. Police told the AFP that they believe the assailants were Palestinian militants, but an Israeli Army spokeswoman said it was still too early to pinpoint the motive.
Ofer’s death is the third incident in the past few weeks where an Israeli has been killed in the West Bank. An Israeli soldier was shot in the city of Hebron in what is believed to be a sniper attack. That incident came one day after a 20-year-old off-duty soldier was killed near the city of Qalqiliya. A Palestinian suspect reportedly confessed to the crime, but authorities are still investigating.
The colonel’s murder has prompted right-wing members of the Israeli Parliament to call for the suspension of the latest round of peace talks and a halt to the release of Palestinian prisoners.