Middle East

Israeli woman stabbed to death in Otniel settlement house

Israeli soldiers block the entrance to the Israeli Jewish settlement of Otniel, in the West Bank, on Sunday after a Palestinian stabbed a woman to death in her home Image copyright EPA
Image caption A massive manhunt is under way after the Israeli army said a Palestinian broke into a house in the Jewish settlement of Otniel and stabbed a woman to death

An Israeli woman has been stabbed to death by a Palestinian who broke into her house, Israel's army says.

Troops are searching for the attacker who fled the scene in the Jewish settlement of Otniel near Hebron.

Since October, 27 Israelis have been killed in stabbing, shooting or car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs.

Some 155 Palestinians - mostly attackers, Israel says - have been killed in that period of unrest.

The woman killed in Otniel has been identified as Dafna Meir, a mother in her late 30s.

Security forces are hunting for the attacker using helicopters and military vehicles.

Roadblocks have been set up, residents were told to lock themselves inside their homes and flares lit the night sky as the manhunt went on.

Separately, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man who tried to stab them near Nablus, the Israeli army said.

The assailant at a base near Nablus was Wissam Qasrawi, 21, from Mesilyeh village near the city of Jenin, in the northern West Bank, the Associated Press news agency quoted Palestinian officials as saying.