Palestinian indicted for rape, murder of Ori Ansbacher

The indictment states that the 19-year-old tried to fight off her attacker, but he overcame her, assaulted her and stabbed her a number of times using the knife he had on his person. Ansbacher died as a result of her wounds.

Ori Ansbacher. Credit: Courtesy of the Ansbacher family.
Ori Ansbacher. Credit: Courtesy of the Ansbacher family.

Arafat Irfaiya, a resident of Hebron who raped and murdered the late Ori Ansbacher in Jerusalem a month ago, was indicted for his crimes in the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday.

Irfaiya “brutally and violently raped and murdered her,” the indictment reads.

Irfaiya, 29, was indicted on counts of committing a terrorist act in the form of premeditated murder, rape and entering Israel without a permit.

According to the description in the indictment of the crime, Ansbacher, 19, who was performing her national service at a center for youth at risk in the Ein Yael area 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 using the knife he had on his person. Ansbacher died as a result of her stab wounds.

During the remand hearing, 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.”

On Sunday, Irfaiya recreated the attack for investigators. He told them that he had killed Ansbacher out of ethno-religious motives.

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

“I bought the kipah two weeks before the murder so I could enter Israel without any suspecting me, and so they wouldn’t spot me as an infiltrator,” he told them.

Irfaiya said he left his home in Hebron carrying the kipah and the knife, which he hid in his trousers. Irfaiya arrived at the forest near Ein Yael just as Ansbacher appeared, seeking time to herself to write.

“I saw a girl. I told her in Arabic, ‘Hi, I’m an Arab.’ I saw that she didn’t understand what I’d said,” he told investigators.

He then told them he attacked her and stabbed her three times, then dragged her a distance of about 150 meters (500 feet). Ansbacher tried to fight him off and screamed, but no one was close enough to hear her.

According to Irfaiya, he then stabbed her a few more times, used her scarf to gag her and tied her hands together using a belt. He raped her, and then took her phone away and began to make his escape. Irfaiya took a taxi back to the Palestinian Authority, where he was eventually captured by police special forces.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the IDF informed Irfaiya’s family that it had decided to demolish his home. The family can appeal the decision to the High Court of Justice.

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