Memorial service for slain American to be held in J'lem

Police believe attack was nationalistically motivated, but no terrorist groups have taken responsibility.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
December 23, 2010 00:55
2 minute read.
Kristine Luken

kristine luken 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Police are maintaining a media blackout on the investigation on the stabbing of two women, one fatally, near Beit Shemesh on Saturday, though they said they believe the attack was nationalistically motivated and not a random act of violence.

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Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday night that no terrorist groups had taken responsibility for the attack.

The stabbing killed American Kristine Luken and seriously wounded her friend, Givat Ze’ev resident Kay Wilson.

The two women were hiking with Wilson’s dog on Saturday near Mata when they were attacked by two Arab men, Wilson told police.

They stabbed both women, but Wilson pretended to be dead until the attackers left the scene.

Wilson then made her way to the road, bleeding heavily and with her hands tied, and attracted the attention of two families who called for medical attention. On Sunday, she told reporters from her hospital bed how one of the attackers took off her Star of David necklace and stabbed her where the pendant had lain.

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Luken will be buried in the United States later this week.

A memorial service will be held at Christ Church in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday, and the church plans to create a memorial in Luken’s name.

“She had an infectious love for God and a great admiration and love for the Jewish people and the Holy Land,” the church said in a statement.

Both Luken and Wilson were involved with CMJ, the Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People, which promotes Messianic Judaism.

The two met on a CMJ-sponsored tour of Poland and Israel that explored the Holocaust and modern-day Israel.

Wilson is the main educator for Shoresh Tours, a branch of CMJ that runs tours in Israel and Eastern Europe.

A representative of Luken’s family declined to say where she will be buried. Luken lived for many years in Virginia while working for the US Department of Education before moving to Nottingham, England, to work for CMJ.

“She had a beautiful and gentle spirit as well as a strong and vibrant faith,” Robin Aldridge, chief executive officer of CMJ UK, said in a statement.

Luken had worked as CMJ’s UK administrator since 2009.

CMJ UK will hold a memorial service for her in Southwell, north of Nottingham, on January 12.

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