The trial began on Sunday for two of the main suspected terrorists responsible
for murdering American Kristine Luken in a terror attack in December of last
year, while she was hiking in the Jerusalem Forest with her friend Kay Wilson.
The attackers also attempted to kill Wilson, who barely managed to escape with
Wilson’s testimony to the police after the attack provided
enough information to break up a ring of 13 Palestinian terrorists responsible
for two murders, two attempted murders, at least one rape and a series of other
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The two main suspects, Ayad Fasafa and Kafah Animat, both
from villages around Hebron, were arrested less than 48 hours after the attack
and confessed to the crime. Forensic evidence, including a small penknife that
Wilson used to stab one of her attackers, also implicated the men in the
In moving testimony on Sunday, Wilson recounted the events of
December 18, 2010, while staring straight at the men accused of murdering
She recalled how the two had been hiking outside of Beit Shemesh
in the forest when two men attacked them, binding their hands behind their backs
with shoelaces, gagging them with parts of a fleece jacket and stabbing them
multiple times with a 30 cm.-long serrated knife. Wilson, who played dead, was
stabbed 12 times and suffered several broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken
Luken was stabbed to death.
Wilson described the
heartwrenching decision she had to make, whether to stay with Kristine for
Luken’s last breaths, which meant Wilson would also bleed to death, or to try to
make it to the path so someone would know what happened. Bleeding heavily, she
staggered for more than 1,200 m. barefoot to a parking lot where a picnicking
family alerted the authorities and paramedics.
“She so did not deserve
this, to be attacked and to go like that,” said Dean Luken
courtroom. “There was nothing mean about her, she did not deserve this. I hope
they are convicted and sentenced and imprisoned and I hope they rot in hell,” he
said, adding that it was a shame that Israel did not have the death
“She was happy to be here and she wanted to be here on vacation,
and that’s all it was, the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess,” Luken added
with tears in his eyes. “Unfortunately they were looking to kill Jews and she
happened to be caught up in that.”
Surprisingly, the Israeli courts also
did not provide a translator for Luken, who relied on Wilson’s friends to
provide a rough translation of the intricate proceedings. The state prosecutor
said that a translator may be provided in the future but there were no
guarantees. The suspects were arrested on December 21, 2010, in a joint IDF-Shin
Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation and during their interrogation confessed
to perpetrating the attack and reenacted it in the field.
interrogation, one of the suspects, Kafah Animat, confessed to the February 2010
murder of Neta Blatt, a teacher who was found dead near Beit Shemesh and had
been considered a suicide.
The suspects also confessed to perpetrating
additional stabbing and shooting attacks with the declared goal of murdering
Jews. They were not believed to have been affiliated with an organized terrorist
Shin Bet sources said that the suspects succeeded in entering
Israel through gaps in the security barrier near Betar Illit.
decided they wanted to kill someone that day,” a Shin Bet source said in
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