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Israeli killed outside his West Bank home

October 11, 2013|By Batsheva Sobelman

JERUSALEM -- An Israeli man was beaten to death in the backyard of his home in the Jordan Valley overnight, medical and security officials told media early Friday morning.

According to his wife, Sariya Ofer was investigating a noise outside the couple's house in the isolated settlement of Brosh Habika when he was attacked by two men who beat him with iron rods and axes.

Ofer, 61, was a retired Israeli army colonel.

His wife, Monique, called for help and fled through the fields until reaching the main road two hours later. She was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries sustained during her escape.

She told army and police forces the assailants spoke Arabic.

Security forces suspect the attack was carried out by Palestinians but couldn't immediately confirm whether it was politically motivated or criminally motivated.

President Shimon Peres condemned the brutal killing and vowed no one would rest "until the murderers are brought to justice."

This is the latest in a recent chain of violent incidents throughout the West Bank, including the separate killing of two soldiers and a shooting attack in a settlement last week. 

Speaking to media Friday, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called to suspend talks with the Palestinians and "stop releasing terrorists," an increasingly frequent demand from government hawks.

In July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to secure his cabinet's approval to release 104 Palestinian prisoners during the course of renewed negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.  The men slated for release are long-serving prisoners, jailed before the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s. 

Israel reportedly turned down a U.S. and Palestinian request to move up the release of the next group of prisoners, scheduled for the end of October.

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