Palestinian pleads guilty to murder, rape of Israeli teen Ori Ansbacher

Arafat Irfaiya to be sentenced at a later date for February 2019 attack in a Jerusalem forest, which Israel says was terrorism

Ori Ansbacher, who was murdered in Jerusalem on February 7, 2019 (Courtesy)
Ori Ansbacher, who was murdered in Jerusalem on February 7, 2019 (Courtesy)

A Palestinian man on Sunday pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Israeli teenager Ori Ansbacher in a February 2019 attack.

Arafat Irfaiya will be sentenced by the Jerusalem District Court at a later date.

He pleaded guilty at the Jerusalem District Court to the charges of first-degree murder, rape and unlawful killing with a terror motivation over the attack on Ansbacher, 19, from the settlement of Tekoa, in a Jerusalem forest.

The Jerusalem district psychiatrist last May found him to be responsible for his actions and fit to stand trial following an evaluation.

Arafat Irfaiya, charged with the murder of Ori Ansbacher, at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on February 11, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday approved a request from Irfaiya’s lawyers that a further psychiatric opinion be submitted to the court.

The indictment against Irfaiya said he had entered Israel from the West Bank illegally armed with a knife.

According to a Channel 12 news report last year, Irfaiya told interrogators that he entered Israel and looked for a Jewish victim because he wanted to be a “martyr.”

According to the report, Irfaiya told investigators he did not plan much of the attack in advance aside from purchasing a kippa so that he could slip into Israel undetected.

On the day of the killing, Ansbacher, who was a volunteer at a youth center in the capital, went for a walk in the woodland of Ein Yael on the southern edge of Jerusalem, encountering Irfaiya by chance.

“He came across Ansbacher and decided to kill her because she was Jewish,” the charge sheet stated. “He attacked Ori with violent cruelty, and though she tried to fight him off, he overpowered her. He stabbed her with a knife multiple times throughout her body, causing her death.”

Israelis light candles in memory of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher, in Zion Square in Jerusalem, on February 9, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

During a court hearing last year, state prosecutors presented the court with evidence against Irfaiya, including his DNA that was found on the murder weapon and at the crime scene. Prosecutors also told the court that during his interrogation, Irfaiya revealed details about Ansbacher that implicated him in her murder.

On April 19, Israeli security forces demolished his home in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The case sparked shock and outrage across the country and prompted the government to approve the implementation of a law under which Israel would deduct from tax revenues it collects on behalf of Palestinians the amount that the Palestinian Authority pays out every month to Palestinian attackers and their families.

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