The murderer of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher has confessed and is cooperating with police and has reenacted the scene at the Ein Yael forest, outside Jerusalem, where her lifeless body was discovered on Thursday evening.
DNA from the scene led to the arrest of Arafat Arfiyeh, 29, on Saturday near Ramallah. A resident of Chevron, he reportedly has ties to the Hamas terror organization.
Israeli police, the Israel Security Agency (ISA/Shin Bet) and IDF, have been working together in the investigation since the victim was reported missing on Thursday.
Arfiyeh had left his home with a knife and happened to encounter Ansbacher in the forest, where she was hiking, the security forces said. They believe the assault was linked to terror, although details of the investigation are still under a gag order.
“The interrogation of the suspect is ongoing and is focused in particular on the motives for the murder,” police said in a statement.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, however, said the attack was certainly an act of terror.
“When an illegal Palestinian alien murders a Jew in the State of Israel, this unequivocally must be determined as a nationalistic murder, no matter what he says or does not say in his interrogation. I hope that the competent authorities understand this, and if not, it should be legislated,” he said.
Ansbacher, a native of the Israeli community of Tekoa in Judea, was performing national service this year at a youth center in Jerusalem.