A group of around 30 Palestinians and Jews affiliated with the NGO Tag Meir paid a consolation visit to the home of terrorist victim Ori Ansbacher in Tekoa on Tuesday.
“I wanted to comfort the family and let them know that killing Jews is no less awful than killing Palestinians,” said Ragi Sabeetin from Hussan in the West Bank. “When there is death, we all suffer.”
Hussan is 12 km. west of Tekoa, where the Ansbachers live.
Tag Meir helps fights against hate crimes, racism, terrorism, and price tag attacks, and encourages tolerance and peace.
Sabeetin said the family welcomed the Palestinians with open arms, and that had the visit not centered on their pain, he thinks they would have felt like friends and guests in the Ansbachers’ home.
“They were nice and calm and patient people. It hurts us all,” Sabeetin said, describing the Jews of Tekoa as his neighbors.
He said that he does not see peace in the immediate future, but he hopes that his children will one day “get through this difficult period and live in a different way.”
“My message to the Palestinians and the Israelis is that there has been enough war,” he continued. “We need to fight for peace or stop fighting.”
The group was accompanied by MK Mossi Raz (Meretz), who said “There are no words to express the anger and sorrow. I’ll do anything to ensure that she is the last victim.”
In contrast, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction accused Israel on Tuesday of “torturing” Arafat Irfaiya, the Hebron man who admitted to raping and murdering Ansbacher in the Jerusalem forest last week.
In a post on its Facebook account, Fatah claimed that Irfaiya had been “beaten and tortured” after his arrest. Fatah shared a photo of Irfaiya that was taken during from his first court appearance on Monday, and in which he appears to have a bruise beneath his left eye.
Fatah presented the photo as evidence that Irfaiya had been “beaten and tortured,” but did not provide any details.
The Fatah post also stated that “the occupation accuses Irfaiya of killing a female soldier in a stabbing attack that was carried out in Jerusalem a few days ago.”
Fatah and PA leaders have thus far refrained from publicly commenting on the rape and murder of Ansbacher. No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the murder.
Sara Rubinstein contributed to this story.