by: Jo Sarah Stanford
Monday, 11 February 2019 | The beauty of Ein Yael nature reserve, southwest of Jerusalem, was marred on Thursday. Amongst the trees and sweeping landscape, a police search ended in tragedy when security forces found the brutally assaulted body of murdered teen Ori Ansbacher.
Israeli police say the brutal attack was an act of terror—she was killed simply because she was Jewish.
Earlier that day Ansbacher’s family reported her missing after the 19-year-old failed to return from a walk in the forest. Police conducted a search of the area, which led to the tragic and horrific discovery.
Evidence at the scene quickly led police to Arafat Irfayia, a 29-year-old Palestinian man from Hebron. He was arrested in Ramallah on Saturday night and has since confessed to the crime.
Irfayia is also suspected of ties to Hamas and has spent time in prison for possession of a knife and illegally living in Israel.
Ansbacher’s death has touched the heart and souls of Israelis across the nation, with vigils held in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and her hometown of Tekoa (south of Bethlehem).
At her funeral on Friday, hundreds gathered in her hometown to pay their respects—openly weeping as they sang and prayed.
Noa Ansbacher, Ori’s mother, expressed her grief. “Ori walked the earth confidently, having faith in the world, when an evil force came and took her from us,” reported Ynetnews. “She was a noble soul, beautiful inside and out.”
Her father, Gadi, a rabbi at the local yeshivah (religious school) said, “You were everything,” reported Haaretz. “…You did it. You won. You lived a whole life. You are whole. You are whole. You are whole.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife visited Ansbacher’s family at their home in Tekoa Sunday night, offering their condolences to her parents and four siblings. Netanyahu said, “the entire public embraces them in their terrible grief,” according to an official tweet.
However, while the Ansbacher family face a life without their daughter and sister, the family of her murderer is set to receive regular payments as a “reward” for his crime.
Under Palestinian Authority (PA) law, Irfayia and his family are eligible for sizable monthly payments for what the PA calls, “participating in the struggle against the occupation.” Israelis call it “pay-for-slay.”
In 2004, President Abbas’s PA government passed a law which gives monthly “stipends” to those who commit terror acts in the name of the “resistance.” The more horrific the crime, the larger the payment. According to the Jerusalem Post, terrorists serving 3–5 years in prison receive 2,000 shekels (US $550) per month—equal to the Palestinian average monthly income. Terrorists sentenced to 20–35 years in prison receive 10,000 shekels (US $2,750) per month.
In 2018, the PA allocated an astounding 691 million shekels (US $183 million) from its failing budget to pay for such attacks, reported the Times of Israel.
In July 2018, the US Congress passed the Taylor-Force Act, which saw funding to the PA cut by US $400 million—money which was ultimately paying for terrorist activities.
At the same time, the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) passed their own pay-for-slay laws, which would deduct, dollar for dollar, the amount spent on terror payments from taxes intended for the PA.
This law came into effect at the beginning of the year, but has not yet been implemented. Following Ansbacher’s murder, Netanyahu promised to “approve the necessary decision to deduct the funds,” by the end of the week.
The prime minister has, for a long time, questioned the actions of the PA government, saying their resistance-against-the-occupation rhetoric is the cause of such violent attacks. “It has been proven again that the wild Palestinian incitement leads to acts of terrorism and murder,” he previously stated.
Posted on February 11, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 11, 2019)
Photo Credit: Benjamin Netanyahu@netanyahu/Twitter
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