January 17, 2016: Dafna Meir, 38, of Otniel, was stabbed to death outside her home.
At about 5:30 in the afternoon, Dafna Meir was painting the front door to her home. Her eldest daughter, Renana, who heard her screams, ran to her aid, only to see the terrorist stab her mother repeatedly. She tried to fight off assailant, protecting the three children who were at home at the time. Renana screamed for help, and the terrorist fled. Dafna was prononced dead at the scene.
Dafna grew up in Rishon Lezion but at an early age was removed from her home by social services and placed in an institution and was later sent to the boarding school at Kibbutz Tirat Zvi. There she enjoyed the support of the Muati family, who became her "kibbutz family". Dafna completed high school in Kibbutz Tirat Zvi and served in the army, where she met her husband-to-be, Natan. After their marriage, they settled in Otniel.
In addition to their four biological children aged 11 to 17, Dafna and Natan fostered two young boys, aged 4 and 6. When she decided to get married, Dafna told her kibbutz mother Atara Muati that she set one condition: that no matter how many children they had, they, too, would foster other children. Her dream was to take in children who have nothing and to give them a good life.Dafna worked as a nurse in the neurosurgery department of Soroka Medical Center in Beesheba. She was also a pre-marital counselor for brides. Dr. Ahmed Nasser, who worked alongside her at the hospital, described her as his "best friend" in the department, always helpful, encouraging everyone, treating all alike, whether Jewish or Arab. Dafna had been studying Arabic, telling Dr. Nasser that "we are neighbors and should speak the same language." "She was a happy woman, joyful, optimistic, driven, responsible, loving," related a neighbor. Everyone in the settlement who was in pain knew they could call her 24 hours a day."
Dafna had recently expressed her fears at the ongoing wave of terror, saying, "The situation is not easy and sometimes it feels like Russian roulette."
Dafna Meir was buried in the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. She is survived by her husband Natan and their six children Renana, 17, Akiva, 15, Noa, 11, Ahava, 10, Yair, 6, Yaniv 4.