Arafat Irfaiya, who is on trial for the nationalistically motivated rape and murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher a year-and-a-half ago, confessed to the deeds in court on Sunday.

In a court appearance last December, Irfaiya refrained from admitting to the brutal attack, even though his lawyer acknowledged that his client had perpetrated them. When the judge asked Irfaiya if he wanted to make a confession, the defendant declined to respond.

Ansbacher’s body was discovered in the Ein Yael Forest southeast of Jerusalem on Feb. 7, 2019. Forensics determined that she had been raped and stabbed. Security forces mounted a manhunt for the killer, eventually arresting Irfaiya some 36 hours later in Ramallah.

The police found DNA evidence tying Irfaiya to the attack, which he also re-enacted during questioning.

Irfaiya, a 29-year-old from Hebron, told investigators that he happened upon the young resident of Tekoa in the woods outside Jerusalem, where she was sitting on a boulder and writing in a journal.

He recounted, “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 recounted stabbing her three times and dragging her as she struggled to get away, stabbing her again and gagging her with her scarf before binding her hands and raping her. He said that he had been determined to have intercourse with her “whether she consented or not.”

He also told investigators that he had worn a kipah to enter Israel and claimed that he had not included anyone else in his plans, which were to “kill a Jew due to the occupation and treatment of Arabs at checkpoints.”

This is an edited version of a story that first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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