A member of Israeli police inspects a damaged car following a suspected ramming attack in the central town of Raanana, on January 15, 2024. Photo by Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images
(JTA) — One woman was killed and 17 injured in a terror attack in the Tel Aviv suburb of Raanana on Monday, a rare fatal incident in central Israel amid the country’s war in Gaza.
Two Palestinian men carried out the attack on Monday afternoon, stabbing people and ramming others with cars in Raanana, a suburb of about 75,000 north of Tel Aviv with a large population of English-speaking immigrants. The woman who was killed was identified as Edna Bluestein, 79, and two additional victims were seriously injured, including a 16-year-old boy. The attack took place at the end of the school day, and several children were hospitalized.
Police apprehended the attackers, who came from the Hebron area in the West Bank and were reportedly working in Israel illegally. The men said they had been inspired by Israel’s war in Gaza to plan and carry out an attack, according to an account shared by Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service with Israeli media.
The attack comes as Israel’s war in Gaza against Hamas, the terror group that controls the coastal enclave and that launched the war by invading Israel on Oct. 7 and killing roughly 1,200 people, crosses 100 days. Nearly 200 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the ensuing ground invasion, while some 24,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
In addition, Israel is fighting an escalating conflict with the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah on its northern border in which 15 Israelis and some 200 Lebanese people have died. And it is conducting military raids against suspected Palestinian terror cells in the West Bank, where some 300 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7.
By comparison, relatively few Israelis have been killed in central Israel, and Monday’s attack fueled a debate over whether Israel should continue to issue work permits to West Bank Palestinians. Before Oct. 7, 300,000 Palestinians from the West Bank crossed into Israel legally to work, but their permits were suspended following Hamas’ attack, plunging the territory into economic crisis. Last month, Israel’s security cabinet opted not to vote on whether to reinstate the permits.
This article originally appeared on JTA.org.