Israeli envoy calls on UN to condemn murder of Israeli teen

Danny Danon labels brutal killing of Ori Ansbacher a terror attack, as Palestinian suspect arrested by security forces in West Bank raid

File: Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon addresses the United Nations Security Council, at UN headquarters, on January 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
File: Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon addresses the United Nations Security Council, at UN headquarters, on January 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations on Friday called for the Security Council to condemn the brutal murder of an Israeli teenager in Jerusalem, while accusing the Palestinian Authority of fostering a “culture of terror” that led to the killing.

Ori Ansbacher, 19, was found dead in the woods at Ein Yael in south Jerusalem late Thursday with what police said were “signs of violence” after she was reported missing earlier in the day.

Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian suspect in Ramallah overnight Friday for the murder of Ansbacher, who Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said was killed with “shocking brutality” and police sources were quoted as saying had been stabbed multiple times in the upper torso.

Though a gag order has been imposed on most details of the case, Israeli television reported Friday there was a growing suspicion the killing was “nationalistic” — a term generally used to describe Palestinian terrorism.

Calling the murder a terror attack, Ambassador Danny Danon said he met with the current president of the UN Security Council regarding the killing and called for the body to publicly denounce it. He also hit out at the Palestinian Authority’s payment of stipends to the families of Palestinians imprisoned for terror offenses, a policy which Israel says encourages violence.

Ori Ansbacher (Courtesy)

“The Security Council’s silence will not help in this fight against terrorism, and will only allow the waves of hatred to grow unchecked. While this silence continues, the PA maintains its policy of paying salaries for terrorists and educating its youth with incitement, and a 19-year-old girl was brutally murdered in Israel,” Danon said in a statement.

“The Security Council has the responsibility and moral duty to make a clear condemnation of this barbaric murder and to act firmly against the culture of terror in the Palestinian Authority, the very culture that undermines stability in the region and destroys innocent lives,” he added.

Senior Palestinian officials have yet to publicly comment on the killing.

Also weighing in was former defense minister Avigdor Liberman, who on Saturday said Ansbacher was murdered because she was Jewish.

“There is no room for these human scum on the face of earth,” Liberman, who heads the Yisrael Beytenu party, wrote on his Twitter account.

He also said the killing showed the need for legislation allowing the death penalty for terrorists, a campaign plank his right-wing party has long pushed unsuccessfully.

Early Saturday, the Israel Police and Shin Bet security agency said a Palestinian from the southern West Bank city of Hebron was arrested over the murder and taken in for questioning.

According to Hebrew media reports on Saturday, forensic evidence found at the scene of Ansbacher’s murder led investigators to the suspect.

Palestinian media outlets reported that undercover Israeli forces raided the Ramallah/el-Bireh area on Friday night, confiscating security cameras and arresting a Palestinian man.

According to PA news outlet Wafa, IDF troops searched two residential buildings and the Jamal Abdel-Nasser Mosque, where a 30-year-old employee was arrested. The report said the Israeli troops confiscated security camera footage from the neighborhood as well as from the mosque.

The raid sparked clashes with some local residents, who hurled rocks at the Israeli troops. The Palestinian Red Crescent said two Palestinians were treated for light injuries at hospitals in Ramallah.

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian man in Ramallah suspected in the murder of Israeli teen Ori Ansbacher on February 8, 2019. (Israel Police)

The raid came hours after Israeli authorities reportedly made a “significant breakthrough” in the Ansbacher murder investigation. No further details on the breakthrough were reported due to the gag order.

The body of Ansbacher was found at Ein Yael, located south of Jerusalem late Thursday. Ein Yael lies between the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and the West Bank village of Walaja. The murder was described by Israeli authorities as brutal; Ansbacher was said to have been stabbed multiple times.

Ansbacher was buried in her hometown, the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, earlier on Friday and politicians from across the political spectrum issued statements of condolence.

She was carrying out a year of national service at a youth center in Jerusalem at the time of her death.

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