Palestinian man gets life sentence for murdering Esther Horgen

Mohammad Maroh Kabaha confessed to murdering Horgen by smashing her head repeatedly with a large rock.

Mohammad Maroh Kabaha, the suspect behind the murder of Esther Horgen. (photo credit: SHIN BET)
Mohammad Maroh Kabaha, the suspect behind the murder of Esther Horgen.
(photo credit: SHIN BET)

The Salem Military Court on Sunday sentenced Palestinian Mohammad Kabaha to life in prison and a NIS 3.2 million fine for the murder of Esther Horgen on December 20, 2020.

Kabaha was convicted in October 2021 following his confession and indictment in February 2021.

According to the indictment, Kabaha planned the attack some six weeks in advance. One reason was to avenge the death of his friend Camal Abu Wae’r, a Palestinian prisoner who became sick and died in jail.

Looking for a place to carry out an attack, Kabaha allegedly went through a hole in the security barrier and found that some Israelis took strolls in the Reihan Forest.

On December 20, 2020, while smuggling cigarettes in the forest near the fence, he spotted Horgen, who was walking alone. When their eyes met, she tried to run and screamed. He caught up to her after running about 15 meters, threw her to the ground and smashed her head repeatedly with a large rock until she was dead.

Esther Horgen (credit: COURTESY THE FAMILY)Esther Horgen (credit: COURTESY THE FAMILY)

Following this, he went home, showered, changed his clothes and fled into the hills. Israeli security forces located and arrested him within days.

The Horgen family and their lawyer, former IDF West Bank chief prosecutor Maurice Hirsch, praised the court ruling but slammed the Palestinian Authority, saying it created an atmosphere of incitement that encouraged Kabaha to commit the murder.

“I am satisfied that this is over, and I will no longer have to be in the same room as this heinous terrorist,” Horgen’s husband, Benjamin, said after the sentencing, KAN News reported.

Besides the life sentence and fine, Kabaha was also sentenced to three additional years in prison on a mix of minor charges.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.