Israeli police said Wednesday they found the body of a Palestinian man suspected of killing an 84-year-old Israeli woman after an overnight manhunt.
Police said the body of the man was found in Tel Aviv, hours after he is alleged to have struck and killed the woman in Holon, a suburb just south of the city.
Police said earlier they were searching for Musa Sarsour, 28, from the West Bank city of Qalqilya. They were treating the woman's death as an attack with nationalist motives, police said, and hundreds of officers fanned out to comb through the area.
District police chief Haim Bublil said Sarsour was found hanged in central Tel Aviv, off a major shopping district, early Wednesday. He said Sarsour had recently been stopped by police but was let go after he showed he had a permit to work legally in Israel, where salaries are much higher than in the occupied West Bank.
The 84-year-old woman was found unconscious on the side of a road on Tuesday afternoon and was declared dead. Security camera footage, which captured the attack, showed the woman being struck repeatedly from behind and falling to the ground.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who was at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, called the killing a “shocking attack by a despicable and cowardly terrorist.”
The attack comes as Israel continues nightly arrest raids in the West Bank that were prompted by a spate of deadly violence against Israelis in the spring that killed 19 people.
Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested since and some 90 have been killed, making this year the deadliest for Palestinians since 2016. Many of those killed have been militants, according to Israel, while others have been local youths killed while throwing stones or firebombs at Israeli troops.
Some civilians have been killed in the violence, among them veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and a lawyer who inadvertently drove into a battle zone.
The raids have driven up tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel says the raids are aimed at dismantling militant networks that threaten its citizens, and that it makes every effort to avoid harming civilians.
Palestinians say the incursions are meant to maintain Israel’s military rule over territories they want for a future state — a dream that appears as remote as ever, with no serious peace negotiations held in over a decade.
Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is now in its 55th year, with no signs of ending anytime soon. The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank, home to some 500,000 Israeli settlers, as the heartland of a future independent state.