Police have determined that the murder of an Israeli woman in Moshav Nehousha near the border with the West Bank on Tuesday was a terrorist attack, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.
The body of Ariela Fahima was found at the entrance to her home by her 10-year-old daughter. The 39-year-old mother of four had been stabbed in the neck.
Police sources said Tuesday that they did not know if the attack was carried out by one or multiple attackers.
The commander of the Beit Shemesh police station, Meir Vardi, said Tuesday that a number of Palestinians who worked at the moshav have been arrested.
Police later discovered a hole in the moshav's security fence, and residents said that the moshav's alarm system has not been functioning due to a technical problem.
Fahima returned home Tuesday afternoon from a day of shopping with friends. After placing her things inside the house, she went outside to the yard for an unknown reason. The murderers, who had been hiding nearby, ambushed her and killed her before fleeing the scene.
Some time later her daughter returned home to discover her mother's body. The 10-year-old rushed to a neighbor's house, who called police. Fahima's husband Yoel, a volunteer in the local Border Police unit, was also located and called to the scene.
A Magen David Adom emergency medical team attempted to revive Fahima without success, and her body was transferred to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir in south Tel Aviv.
Security forces that arrived on the scene instructed residents to remain indoors, suspecting that the terrorists may still be in the moshav.
Large police and army forces conducted searches in the area in an attempt to locate the attacker or attackers. The searches continued into the night.
Police believe the attackers fled eastward, in the direction of the West Bank.
Police had focused on a nationalistic motive for the murder since the beginning of the investigation, but had previously refused to rule out other possibilities.
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