Palestinian suspect in murder, rape of Ori Ansbacher remanded for 8 more days
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Thousands attend memorial concert for 19-year-old girl

Palestinian suspect in murder, rape of Ori Ansbacher remanded for 8 more days

Police say they need more time to analyze forensic evidence implicating Arafat Irfaiya in the killing, which sparked outrage in Israel

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

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday extended by eight days the remand of a Palestinian man suspected of brutally murdering Israeli teen Ori Ansbacher earlier this month in the woods on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Arafat Irfaiya, a 29-year-old Hebron resident, was arrested on February 8 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, with investigators from the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police aiming to indict him for murder in the context of a terrorist act, in addition to a charge of rape.

It is Irfaiya’s second remand after the court last week ordered him detained for ten days.

Police requested the additional remand, saying they needed more time to complete the investigation, especially to examine forensic evidence.

On Tuesday evening, thousands gathered in the First Station culture compound in Jerusalem for a memorial concert for the 19-year-old Ansbacher. Singers who performed voluntarily included Ehud Banai, Yuval Dayan, Amir Benayoun, Micha Shitrit, Shlomi Shabat and the Shalva Band.

Ori Ansbacher (Courtesy)

Last week, the Shin Bet announced that the murder was a nationalistically motivated terror attack, saying Irfaiya reenacted the murder in front of interrogators and “implicated himself definitively in the incident.”

The suspect reportedly told interrogators that he entered Israel and looked for a Jewish victim because he wanted to be a martyr.

“I entered Israel with a knife because I wanted to become a martyr and murder a Jew,” he reportedly said. “I met the girl by chance.”

Irfaiya said that after he crossed the Green Line he sprinted to avoid detection by security cameras.

A spokesman for the Shin Bet previously said Irfaiya had spent time in prison for security-related offenses and that he had crossed into Israel without a permit before carrying out the murder. Hebrew media reported that the suspect is affiliated with Hamas, though neither the terror group nor others have claimed responsibility for the attack due to the rape charge.

Channel 13 news has reported that Irfaiya was arrested in 2017 at the entrance to the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem armed with a large kitchen knife, and had indicated that if released, he would “come back here with a knife.”

Additional details regarding the probe remain under gag order.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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