Ori Ansbacher's killer faces charges of murder and rape

Arafat Irfaiya, 29, recreated the scene and murder for the investigators, after confessing, yet his motive is still unknown.

April 12, 2019 15:51
2 minute read.
Arafat Irfaiya, Ori Ansbacher's murderer, brought to court

Arafat Irfaiya, Ori Ansbacher's murderer, brought to court. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Arafat Irfaiya, Ori Ansbacher's murderer, was brought to court on Monday to discuss the extension of his arrest on the charges of murder and rape.

Security officials say that Arafat Irfaiya, 29, from Hebron has confessed to killing Ori Ansbacher, 19, and reconstructed the murder for police on Sunday ahead of his arraignment in court. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara traveled to the family’s home in Tekoa to personally tell that what every one had presumed - that their daughter had been the victim of a terror attack - was in fact true.
“It’s not surprising,” Netanyahu said, “But I wanted you to know this officially,” he added speaking in a low voice and holding his eye glasses in his hand as he sat in front of the family. They nodded at him as he spoke.

“What seemed obvious, has also turned out to be real,” Netanyahu said.

IDF troops meanwhile mapped the killer’s home ahead of its likely demolition. Troops entered Hebron before dawn on Sunday to measure the structure “to evaluate ways to demolish it,” the army said in a statement.

Irfaiya was arrested in a joint operation by the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Border Police’s Yamam counter-terrorism unit in an abandoned building near the Jamal Abdel-Nasser Mosque in el-Bireh, which adjoins Ramallah, following intelligence received by security forces.

According to reports, authorities received information that he was hiding in the mosque and proceeded to raid it on Friday evening. When Irfaiya was not found, troops confiscated security camera footage from the neighborhood and returned later that night to conduct a second raid on a nearby abandoned building, where he was arrested without putting up a struggle.

The knife he is believed to have used in the murder was found during the arrest.

Irfaiya was arrested less than 48 hours after Ansbacher, from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, was found naked and with multiple stab wounds in the Ein Yael forest in Jerusalem on Thursday.

The Shin Bet General Security Service said that the suspect “left his home in Hebron with a knife and made his way to the village of Beit Jala,” just south of Jerusalem and from there, he “walked to the forest, where he saw Ori, attacked and murdered her.”

With the Israel Police, Shin Bet and IDF still investigating her murder, many details remain under a gag order.

Irfaiya had previously served time for being in Israel illegally and for possession of a knife. According to reports, authorities were able to link him with the murder “without question” from DNA evidence found at the scene.

Earlier in the investigation there was suspicion that her murder was sexual in nature, the was growing indications that it was nationalistically motivated because Iraiya has family members connected with Hamas and he has been involved in disseminating propaganda for the group.

“The interrogation of the suspect is ongoing and is focused in particular on the motives for the murder,” read a statement by police.

Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the attack should be considered a terrorist attack regardless of what Irfaiya said during his interrogation.

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