Palestinian man who confessed to killing Israeli woman Ori Ansbacher deemed fit to stand trial

Palestinian man Arafat Irfaiya was indicted on counts of committing a terrorist act in the form of premeditated murder, rape and entering Israel without a permit.

Ori Ansbacher. Photo: Courtesy.
Ori Ansbacher. Photo: Courtesy.

Palestinian man Arafat Irfaiya, 29, who confessed to killing 19-year-old Israeli woman Ori Ansbacher in February, has been deemed fit to stand trial following a psychiatric evaluation conducted at the request of his defense team.

The next hearing in Irfaiya’s case is slated to be held at the Jerusalem District Court in June, at which point the Public Defender’s Office will present its response to the indictment, which included counts of committing a terrorist act in the form of premeditated murder, rape and entering Israel without a permit.

According to the indictment, Ansbacher, 19, who was performing her national service at a center for at-risk youth at Ein Yael on the outskirts of Jerusalem, entered the forested area around the center late on the morning of Feb. 7, carrying a pad of paper. Irfaiya approached the area, carrying a knife. He saw Ansbacher, identified her as Jewish and decided to kill her.

The indictment states that Ansbacher tried to fight off her attacker, but he overcame her, assaulted her and stabbed her a number of times. Ansbacher died as a result of her wounds.

During the remand hearing in February, District Attorney Yuval Kadar laid out the evidence against Irfaiya.

“The evidentiary material includes DNA samples from the scene of the crime; the knife used in the murder, which was found where the terrorist was hiding—which bore bloodstains of the murder victim—as well as the victim’s SIM card, which was discovered in his [Irfaiya’s] bag, along with her cellphone, which was recovered from a nearby ditch. The killer was also able to recount details that only someone who had been at the scene would know—for example, that the victim arrived with headphones and a notebook.”

Irfaiya recreated the attack for investigators. He told them that he had killed Ansbacher for ethno-religious reasons.

Irfaiya also revealed that a few weeks before he killed Ansbacher, he had made a decision to murder a Jew. He said he had purchased a kipah to help him carry out his plan; it was later found in his pants’ pocket.

He told investigators that he stabbed Ansbacher her three times, then dragged her about 500 feet. He said she screamed and tried to fight him off, but no one was close enough to hear her.

According to Irfaiya, he then stabbed her a few more times, gagged her with her scarf and tied her hands together with a belt. He raped her, took her phone and began to make his escape. He took a taxi back to Palestinian Authority-controlled territory, where he was eventually captured by police special forces.

This article first appeared on the Israel Hayom website.

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