Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked and former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman are among the high-level Israeli officials calling on Israel to execute Arafat Irfayia, the Arab man believed to have murdered 19-year-old Tekoa resident Ori Ansbacher in a what has been described as a grizzly and gruesome slaying.
Ansbacher, who was serving in National Service in Jerusalem until she was reported missing, was discovered unconscious and unresponsive with multiple stab wounds in her chest in the forest of Ein Yael on the outskirt of Jerusalem on Thursday.
Additional details have been censored, but authorities said the attack was exceptionally gruesome.
Irfayia, who was found near Ramallah on Friday morning and arrested, is from the Abu Sneina neighborhood of Hebron. Local Jewish residents called for a protest outside his family home, which was mapped and prepared by the Israel Defense Forces for demolition, in accordance with Israeli policy pertaining to the perpetrators of murder against Jews.
On Saturday, Shaked told Channel 13 news Saturday that “the military prosecution needs to ask for the death penalty, and that Irfayia, who had previously served time for possessing a knife while in Israel ilegally, “killed Ori because she was a Jewish girl.”
Lieberman took to Twitter, declaring: “It is inconceivable that a 19-year-old girl is murdered on nationalistic motives and her vile killer will live for many years in the luxurious conditions of Israeli prison. We must change this reality; we need a death-penalty law for terrorists!”
Lieberman attempted to pass death-penalty legislation before abandoning the coalition, but did not make sufficient headway. Shaked did not provide significant backing for the law, stating that one already exists. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his support for using the death penalty in the past.
National Union Party chairman Betzalel Smotrich praised security forces for the arrest on Twitter, and said that the Justice department should be responsible for “speedy justice and the death penalty for the terrorist, the immediate destruction of his house and the expulsion of his whole family to Gaza.”
The only time Israel has utilized the death penalty was on Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust. He was hanged in Jerusalem in 1962 and then cremated.
Use of the death penalty can only be made in specific circumstances and requires a unanimous decision from a panel of three judges.
“The terrorists are no longer afraid,” Bennett said in a statement. “At this moment, [they] are preparing the next terrible murder of Jews,” he said, urging the government to implement legislation that would subtract the amount of money paid to the families of convicted terrorists from the amount of taxes Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority.