Israel nabs Palestinian suspect in West Bank murder of Esther Horgen

Defense officials said the suspect was a Palestinian man from Jenin and that he was being questioned by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

Suspect in the murder of Esther Horgen was arrested in a joint operation by the Police, the IDF, and the Border Police, December 24, 2020 (Credit IDF Spokesperson Unit)
A suspect in the murder of Esther Horgen, who was killed in the northern West Bank in an alleged terrorist attack, was arrested in a joint operation by the Police, the IDF, and the Border Police on Thursday.
Horgen, a woman in her 50s, was found dead in the Rehan Forest, close to her home in the settlement of Tal Menashe, after she had been out jogging.
The breakthrough in the search for the suspect came about 24 hours after the murder thanks to Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence. Then, police and IDF elite units were called in to the Mevo Dotan base at the Menashe regional division base.
On Thursday, at around noon, intelligence units found that the suspect was staying at his mother’s house in the village of Toura, near Jenin.
The Yamam (Israel Police National Counter Terrorism Unit) then arrived at the scene and with assistance from intelligence drones, the suspect was located on a rooftop and was later apprehended. He was taken questioning by the Shin Bet.
The paratroopers special unit came to the scene after the arrest and detained family members and other suspected accomplices.
The suspect is a 40-year-old Palestinian who has had previous involvement in security-related activity. His political affiliation isn’t clear.
Before the attack on Tuesday, the suspect crossed the security barrier in the northern West Bank.
Horgen’s body was found on the side of a path in the forest and showed signs of violence, including to her head. Her family reported her missing on Sunday. She is survived by her husband, Benyamin, and six children. Her youngest child celebrated his bar mitzvah three months ago.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “As always, we’ve used every means at the disposal of the security forces to swiftly find and apprehend a suspect in the shocking murder of Esther Horgen, may she rest in peace.
“The IDF and other security forces will find every terrorist and eradicate terrorism wherever and whenever it raises its head.”
Benjamin Horgen said after the arrest that he “knew it would happen sooner or later.”
“They did a wonderful job, and we rely on the security forces and the judiciary,” he said, and asked that justice be done with the “despicable terrorist, while we focus on what we do – bring more light.”
After the attack, the IDF on Tuesday said it is increasing security measures in the West Bank.
The IDF “will reinforce troops in Judea and Samaria today [Tuesday] to enhance the defense of communities and roads in the region,” the IDF said.
All soldiers in the Judea and Samaria Division will be under curfew until Friday, it said.
Tamar Beeri contributed to this report.