TEL AVIV – The IDF on Sunday began preparations for the demolition of the home of a Palestinian man who confessed to brutally murdering a 19-year-old Israeli woman in Jerusalem last week, suggesting that security forces believe that the murder constituted an act of terror.
Arafat Irfayia, 29, was arrested near Ramallah on Friday on suspicion of murdering Ori Ansbacher while she was out walking in a forest in southern Jerusalem on Thursday. On Sunday, it was reported that Irfayia had already confessed to the crime and reenacted it for the police.
The military on Friday mapped Irfayia’s home in the West Bank city of Hebron for the purposes of “evaluating ways to demolish it,” the army said.
According to the Shin Bet security agency, Irfayia “left his home in Hebron with a knife and made his way to the village of Beit Jala,” before continuing to “the forest, where he saw Ori, attacked and murdered her.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Saturday that “the military prosecution needs to ask for the death penalty.”
Most of the details of the gruesome murder have been shrouded under a gag order.
“We should not hide the truth,” Shaked told Channel 13 news. “He killed Ori because she was a Jewish girl.”
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan echoed Shaked’s call for the death penalty.
“If the murderer abused his victim and if we understand that there is no way to rehabilitate him, and in cases of the murder of a family, the death penalty should be used,” Erdan said.
The only time Israel has used the death penalty was in the case of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann in 1962.
Erdan added that the murder should be treated as terrorism regardless of whether it was nationalistically motivated.
“When a Palestinian in Israel illegally murders a Jew in the State of Israel, there is no doubt that it needs to be considered as nationalistic murder,” he told Channel 13 news. “It does not matter what he says or doesn’t say in the interrogation. I hope the relevant authorities understand this and if not, we need to legislate it.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to implement a Knesset bill that was passed in July to cut funds to the PA directly correlated to the amount paid out by the Palestinian government to convicted terrorists and their families.
“The terrorists are no longer afraid. At this moment [they] are preparing the next terrible murder of Jews,” Bennett said in a statement.
At the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu pledged that the so-called pay-for-slay law would indeed be implemented next week.
“By the end of the week, the staff work necessary for implementing the law on deducting terrorists’ salaries will be completed. Next Sunday I will convene the Security Cabinet and we will approve the necessary decision to deduct the funds. Let nobody doubt, the funds will be deducted, at the start of next week,” he said.
Netanyahu also lauded security forces for apprehending the Palestinian suspected of killing Ansbacher.
“Sooner or later, in this case sooner, the long arm of Israel will reach all those who hurt us and we will settle accounts with them,” he said.
“For myself, the Cabinet and the entire people of Israel, I would like to send our sincerest heartfelt condolences to the Ansbacher family in their terrible grief,” he added.
President Reuven Rivlin also praised security forces.
“Personally and on behalf of all Israelis, I would like to thank the security forces for capturing the despicable terrorist who murdered Ori Ansbacher,” he said.
“We will not be deterred and we will not cease our uncompromising fight against terrorism,” he added. “We will seek out the perpetrators and their associates until we find them and punish them to the fullest extent of the law, in every place and wherever they hide from us.”
“Tonight, too, we send our prayers of consolation to the Ansbacher family and to the whole community of Tekoa for the shining light that has been extinguished by a vile hand, and for the great void that Ori — good-hearted and generous of spirit — leaves behind,” the president said.