A 29-year-old Palestinian man, Arafat Irfaiya, from Hebron, was arrested on Saturday near Ramallah in a joint task by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Shin Bet and the Israel Border Police’s counter-terrorism unit.
Ori’s body was found on Thursday with numerous knife injuries to her chest in Ein Yael, a forest southwest of Jerusalem.
Channel 13 news reported that interrogators from the Shin Bet security service said that Irfaiya had entered Israel and was seeking to find a Jewish victim in order to be a “martyr”.
According to the report, Ifraiya said: “I entered Israel with a knife because I wanted to become a martyr and murder a Jew… I met the girl by chance”.
Minister for the Middle East Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP wrote on Twitter condemning the attack: “Appalled by the brutal murder of 19 year old Ori Ansbacher in Jerusalem last week. My thoughts are with her family. Such hatred and terror must be condemned utterly; Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in safety and peace”.
Today, a group of Palestinian and Israeli coexistence activists visited the home of the Israeli teen, to pay their condolences to the family.
The Shin Bet said that Irfaiya re-enacted the murder in front of interrogators demonstrating where he saw Ansbacher sitting on a chair in the woods, raped and then murdered her.
The police and Shin Bet were aware of Irfaiya’s criminal record and him being linked to Hamas. In 2009, he was arrested for ownership of a knife and sentenced to three months in prison, and in 2017 he was arrested for staying in Israel illegally and again for possession of a knife, then serving five months in prison.
The murder has encouraged further calls in Israel for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to terminate its practice of making payments to convicted terrorists and their families. The Israeli Government is taking new actions to deduct these payments from the tax transfers Israel grants to the PA.