JERUSALEM (VINnews) — On Tuesday evening an elderly woman was brutally attacked and murdered on a Holon street. Police investigating the incident concluded that the attack was actually perpetrated by a Palestinian terrorist. After a large manhunt, the terrorist’s body was discovered the following morning in an abandoned building in Tel Aviv.
The man was found hanged in a building on Bar Kochba Street, close to the city’s central Dizengoff Street.Police believe Mousa Sarsour — a 28-year-old Palestinian from Qalqilya — died by suicide. Police chief Kobi Shabtai arrived at the scene in Tel Aviv.
IDF forces had arrested a number of suspects in connection with the attack, including Sarsour’s relatives.
The 84-year-old victim was named Wednesday morning as Shulamit Rachel Ovadia, a mother of three.
Ovadia was killed by blows to the head from a blunt object on Hahashmona’im Street in the Holon. Police were called to the scene after a neighbor heard her screams, arriving to find her seriously wounded. Later the Shin Bet entered the police investigation after it became more likely that Ovadia had been the victim of a vicious terror attack.
Surveillance cameras showed a man in dark clothes trailing Ovadia as she walked toward her house, then attacking her from behind, landing multiple blows and fleeing the scene. Nothing was stolen from her.
“We have no idea what happened, we are in shock,” Ovadia’s son-in-law told Channel 13. “She was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Sarsour had a permit to enter Israel for work. He was reportedly questioned twice by police in recent weeks, but was released after authorities found that his permit was valid and there were no warnings listed against him, as he did not have any prior security offenses.
Sarsour was identified based on his mugshot released by police. A woman said that she remembered seeing him riding on a Tel Aviv bus approximately an hour after the attack.
“I saw the clothes he was wearing [in the picture] and I immediately remembered seeing him earlier that day, on a bus in Tel Aviv,” she said.
She said that when the suspect got on the bus, he spoke to the driver for a relatively long time.
“I tried to understand from his clothes if he was a drug addict or lived on the street, but the clothes didn’t look too dirty to me so I came to the conclusion that he was probably actually from Judea and Samaria,” she said, adding that he spoke accented Hebrew.
The woman said she disembarked from the bus a couple of stops after the man got on, and contacted the police later in the evening when she realized she had seen the suspect.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, was updated on the attack. “This is a shocking attack by a despicable and cowardly terrorist who murdered an elderly woman who could not fight back,” he said through a spokesperson.