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Palestinian sentenced to life plus 20 years for rape, murder of Ori Ansbacher

Arafat Irfaiya committed “cruel and shocking acts” carried out with “inhuman brutality,” the judge said.

Arafat Irfaiya, convicted of the murder of Ori Ansbacher, is brought for a sentencing hearing at the Jerusalem District Court, Jan. 29, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Arafat Irfaiya, convicted of the murder of Ori Ansbacher, is brought for a sentencing hearing at the Jerusalem District Court, Jan. 29, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Arafat Irfaiya was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 20 years on Sunday by the Jerusalem District Court, for the rape and murder of Ori Ansbacher in February 2019.

As he handed down the sentence, the judge said Irfaiya had committed “cruel and shocking acts” that were carried out with “inhuman brutality.”

The judge noted the testimony of Ansbacher’s mother, who related that since the death of her daughter, the lives of her family members are “filled with never-ending pain.”

Irfaiya confessed to his crimes during a sentencing hearing in court in 2020, after speaking on the phone with his mother for 20 minutes.

Irfaiya, a 29-year-old resident of Hebron at the time of the attack, told investigators that he happened upon 19-year-old Tekoa resident Ansbacher in the woods outside Jerusalem, where she was sitting on a boulder and writing in a journal. He said he was determined he would have intercourse with her “whether she consented or not.”

He stabbed Ansbacher three times and dragged her as she struggled to escape, stabbing her further and gagging her with her scarf before binding her hands and raping her.

Ansbacher died during the attack, and Irfaiya destroyed Ansbacher’s cellphone and memory card to make it more difficult to locate her corpse.

Ansbacher, who enjoyed writing poetry, had gone to the woods to write. She had been performing National Service at the nearby Yalim Center, a nature therapy center for children and at-risk youth and those with special needs.

“He came across Ansbacher and decided to kill her because she was Jewish,” the charge sheet stated.

Irfaiya’s “actions brought destruction to her family. This is an evil that has no place in our world. The poem of Ori’s life ended with a scream,” the judge said on Sunday.

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