Saturday’s stabbing and murder of two young women in a forest near Beit Shemesh
were probably a terrorist attack, police said on Sunday.
investigation is still under way into the attack that wounded Givat Ze’ev
resident Kay Wilson, an olah from Great Britain, and killed her American friend
Kristine Luken, as they were hiking in the wooded hills west of the
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“We are still looking at all directions, still continuing the
investigation, and questioning people who may have seen them,” police spokesman
Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “The main direction is that
this was a nationalistic attack, though we haven’t ruled out the possibilities
of a criminal incident.
“There have been no claims [of responsibility] by
[terrorist] organizations,” Rosenfeld noted, however.
The body of Luken,
a US citizen living in England who was visiting Israel, was found south of Mata,
approximately 400 meters from the road between Mata and Beit Shemesh, police
said. Her body was discovered around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Wilson, a tour
guide who worked part-time for Shoresh Tours, a Christian tour company, was
stabbed and seriously wounded and handcuffed, but managed to drag herself to the
road. There she saw two families, who called the police.
After she gave a
brief account of the incident, Magen David Adom evacuated her to Hadassah
University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
On Sunday, police
investigators interviewed Wilson in her hospital bed for several
Her condition was improving and she was expected to leave the
hospital in two to three days, a Hadassah spokesman said.
her hands bound, and she was stabbed pretty bad in the upper part of her body,”
Rosenfeld said. “The obvious intention was to have her killed. This was not
something where they were just trying to take her purse. It was a serious crime
scene. We’re talking about two women walking around the Jerusalem Forest, we’re
not even talking about Judea and Samaria.”
Wilson described her ordeal,
telling reporters that her attacker removed her Star of David necklace and then
stabbed her in the chest.
Wilson and Luken had been hiking in the woods
when two Arab men asked Wilson for water in Hebrew, she said. After they
disappeared from view, Wilson became uneasy about their intentions, and told
Luken they should return to Mata.
As they walked toward the village, the
attackers pounced on the women, stabbing both repeatedly.
Wilson said her
attacker had used a knife with a huge blade, adding that it looked like a bread
knife. Wilson managed to produce a small blade of her own that she carried for
selfdefense, and stabbed her attacker once, she said.
But after being
stabbed again and again, Wilson fell to the ground and played dead, waiting for
the men to leave. She provided harrowing descriptions of hearing her friend
struggle for breath before dying on the ground beside her.
After a few
minutes, Wilson found that she was able to stand up, and walked toward Mata. She
saw a passing car but was unable to shout due to as she was having difficulty
She then found the two families sitting in a park, and turned
around to show them that her hands had been bound. The family alerted
Several hundred people searched for Luken overnight Saturday,
including units with rescue dogs, combat soldiers, police helicopters, mounted
police, and several hundred other police officers.
After Luken’s body was
found, police remained at the scene for three hours, combing the area for
The security level had not been raised in the Jerusalem area
as of Sunday, though police were coordinating with security in the villages
around Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh to be extra vigilant.
the police were waiting for “concrete answers” before updating security
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.