Pregnant Palestinian mother stabbed to death in Israel's Lod
A pregnant Palestinian citizen of Israel was stabbed to death while she was taking her children to school in the city of Lod (Lydd) in Israel.
Graphic footage surfaced online showing the attack against the victim identified as Ayah Abu Hjaij.
The pregnant woman was stabbed several times by an attacker who later stepped into a getaway car and left her bleeding on the ground in front of her children.
Abu Hjaij was reportedly in her early 20s and was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. She was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital in critical condition and she underwent an emergency C-section. However, both she and her unborn child did not survive.
Israeli reports claimed that Abu Hjaij’s father and brother were arrested on suspicion of her murder.
Al Araby TV journalist Ahmad Yassine debunked claims that the attack was perpetuated by an Israeli settler, as claimed by several social media users who alleged other causes of the incident.
"Aya Abu Hujaj from Lod was killed this morning while taking her daughter to school. The motive is criminal, and two suspects, her family members from Bedouin villages in the Naqab (Negev) and Lod, have been arrested," Yassine tweeted on X.
According to the Abraham Initiatives, the recent incident marks the 222nd killing within Israel’s Arab community this year, which has drastically increased since last year’s count of 103 in 2022.
Hello everyone, there is a video circulating of stabbing a pregnant woman in #Lod, claiming it's an attack by a settler on a Palestinian woman. This not accurate; Mrs. Aya Abu Hujaj from Lod was killed this morning while taking her daughter to school. The motive is criminal, and… pic.twitter.com/cxLIU0hDLZ— Ahmad M. Yassine | أحمد م. ياسين (@Lobnene_Blog) November 30, 2023
The nonprofit also reported that 188 Palestinians were targeted and killed between January and July 2023, which was 2.3 times more than the same time last year, when there were 47 fatalities.
Meanwhile, a majority of victims were found to be 30 years old or younger and makeup 58 per cent of fatalities- as a predominant cause of incidents of Palestinian victims murdered are by illegal firearms.
The city of Lod, located southeast of Jaffa, consists of 25,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel out of the total of 82,000 of its residents - as some moved to the city during the Nakba in 1948.
In May 2021, amid tensions in occupied East Jerusalem and a flare-up between Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Israel, Jewish extremists attacked Palestinians in several mixed cities, including Lod, Acre and Haifa.