Police on Friday urged the public to stop spreading “horrific” and baseless rumors on social media surrounding the murder of a teenager whose body was discovered on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, was found dead Thursday with what police said were “signs of violence” after she was reported missing earlier in the day. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Ansbacher had been killed with “shocking brutality,” and police sources were quoted saying she had been stabbed multiple times in the upper torso.
“Since the murder that took place yesterday, there have been different publications and reports, especially on social media, regarding the circumstances of the case, including horrific descriptions that are irresponsible,” police said in a rare statement.
“We are clarifying that these publications are baseless and hurt the honor of the victim and her family while misleading the public,” police added.
Police stressed they were doing everything in their power to track the perpetrator(s).
“We call on the public not to spread false rumors or disinformation from unauthorized sources,” police said.
The statement came shortly after Netanyahu’s son Yair published a graphic post on his Facebook page containing what police sources told Channel 12 news were false claims regarding Ansbacher’s murder.
Yair Netanyahu made specific claims about the nature of the murder which the police sources said were untrue, and also accused the media of deliberately failing to report aspects of the case. In fact, most information regarding the murder is barred for publication by a gag order.
He later edited the post and removed many of the details but continued to share other posts that included unsubstantiated details of the murder.
The court-imposed gag order on all details of the murder was lifted partially Friday morning to allow identification of the victim.
Ansbacher was buried in Tekoa earlier Friday and politicians from across the political spectrum issued statements of condolence.
Netanyahu issued a statement on the murder, saying Ansbacher was killed “with shocking brutality.”
“At this difficult hour we all embrace the Ansbacher family and the people of Tekoa. The security forces are investigating the murder — we will find those responsible for it, and we will bring the matter to justice,” the prime minister pledged.
She was carrying out a year of national service at a youth center in Jerusalem at the time of her death.
According to the Ynet news site, Ansbacher had left her workplace distraught and told friends she was going to spend some time alone in nature.
Her body was later found in woodland at Ein Yael, located south of Jerusalem. Ein Yael lies between the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and the West Bank village of Walaja.
A police officer said investigators were “exploring all possible motives,” as a large number of police and Shin Bet personnel continued to search the area where Ansbacher was found.