Palestinian Man’s Rape, Murder of Israeli Teenager Condemned by UN, EU Envoys
The recent killing of Israeli teenager Ori Ansbacher in what officials have described as a Palestinian terrorist attack drew increased international condemnation on Monday.
Israeli security officials said 29-year-old Hebron resident Arafat Irfaiya had confessed to the murder, which took place in a forest southwest of Jerusalem on Thursday.
Ansbacher, a national service volunteer and daughter of a rabbi from the West Bank community of Tekoa, was found with multiple stab wounds to her chest.
Investigators are seeking to indict Irfaiya for nationalistically-motivated rape and murder. He appeared in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court court on Monday, where his remand was extended for ten days.
Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said in a tweet on Monday that he was “appalled by the horrific murder of 19-year old #OriAnsbacher, by a Palestinian perpetrator in #Jerusalem.”
“My deepest condolences to Ori’s family,” he continued. “There is no justification for violence and terror. Such brutal acts must be condemned by all. #UN”
Emanuele Giaufret, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel, also tweeted his condolences to Ansbacher’s family on Monday. German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer likewise took to the social media network to say that she was “shocked and [appalled]” by the killing, while a fellow German official called for an end to Palestinian stipends to convicted terrorists and their families.
“A young Israeli woman was murdered in a brutal terror attack,” wrote Uwe Becker, mayor of the central German city of Frankfurt, on Facebook on Monday. “Now imagine, that European tax money will at least indirectly go to the terrorist and his family, not to the family of the victim. This must end!”
The demand echoed concerns frequently shared by Israeli officials, including in the wake of Ansbacher’s murder, that the Palestinian Authority (PA) incentivizes the killing of Israeli civilians by paying monthly salaries to their attackers — a policy dubbed by critics as “pay-to-slay.”
Amid pressure from right-wing lawmakers and families of terror victims, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Sunday to implement a law passed by the Knesset in July, which aims to slash the tax funds that Israel regularly collects on behalf of the PA by the amount paid to terrorists.
“Next Sunday, I will convene the Security Cabinet, and we will approve the decision necessary to cut the funds,” Netanyahu said. “The funds will be cut — let no one have any doubt — and at the start of next week.”
The Israeli measure was inspired by last year’s passage of the Taylor Force Act, US federal legislation that limits aid to the PA until it ceases paying stipends to terrorists and their families. The act was named after a US Army veteran and graduate student killed by a knife-wielding Palestinian assailant in Tel Aviv in 2016.
Palestinian officials have defended the salaries as a form of social welfare, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas pledging last July, “Even if we only have a penny left, we are going to first put it toward these payments.”
The PA’s minister for civilian affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, said in an Arabic-language interview published by Agence France-Presse on Sunday that Abbas was prepared to refuse any tax revenue collected by Israel if a single penny was deducted from it.