Sariya Ofer, a Jordan Valley resident and retired IDF colonel, was murdered last night in a suspected terrorist attack outside his home in Brosh Habika. Ofer’s wife, Monique, told security forces that at around one am she and her husband heard voices speaking in Arabic on their property. She said that when Ofer went outside to investigate, he was attacked by Arabic men wielding axes and crowbars.

Monique witnessed the scene, phoned an acquaintance for help and fled the house. Ynet reported that as the attackers were looking for her without flashlights, she crawled through the bushes to Route 90 where she stopped a car and called security forces.

Magen David Adom paramedic dispatcher Roni Na’ani told Israel Radio, “I received a call from a woman who said she and her husband were attacked inside their home and she managed to run away and stop a passing car for help…I immediately sent medics in the area to the scene and contacted the security forces.”

IDF forces arrived on the scene and searched for suspects. The Jerusalem Post reports that the Shin Bet arrested five Arabs and is holding them for questioning.

Army Radio reported that in a tragic coincidence, Ofer’s brother Yitzchak, an IDF pilot in the Yom Kippur War, was shot down and killed October 11, 1943, exactly forty years earlier to the day.

Ynet reported that Brosh Habika was founded six years earlier by Ofer as a vacation village, but there were no guests during the attack. Knesset Minister Uri Ariel said in a statement Friday morning that Ofer was a personal friend, and one of the best officers in the IDF. “Ya-Ya was always the pioneer,” Ariel said, using Ofer’s IDF nickname. “He was like that in the IDF and he was like that in the settlement enterprise, leading many behind him to settle in the Jordan Valley, which he claimed was of prime Zionist importance.”

Monique was taken to Emek Medical Center and treated for cuts she sustained while crawling through a barbed wire fence. Ynet reported that in the hospital Monique said her husband “was a military man for a long time; an amazing man, amazing father, amazing grandfather and amazing husband. There is no one who did not love him or connect with him. How they managed to do this to him, I do not know. They surprised him. I don’t know.”