A branch of the Palestinian Authority on Monday released surveillance footage from a Ramallah-area mosque, apparently showing Israeli security forces arresting the suspected Palestinian killer of a young Israeli woman brutally murdered last week.
The video, posted on Facebook by the PA’s Waqf (Islamic trust) office, shows footage from a camera inside the Jamal Abdel Nasser mosque, in which the suspected killer is caught in an abandoned building nearby, and an additional suspect is arrested inside the house of worship itself.
Arafat Irfaiya is suspected of murdering 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher in Jerusalem last week. Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Sunday extended Irfaiya’s remand for an additional 10 days.
Ansbacher's naked body was found last Thursday, with multiple stab wounds, in the woods at Ein Yael on the outskirts of Jerusalem, police said. The Shin Bet domestic security service said Irfaiya left his home in Hebron carrying a knife, saw the victim in the forest, attacked and killed her. The 29-year-old Palestinian later admitted to the murder anbbd said it was nationalistically motivated.
Irfaiya was identified through a DNA sample found at the scene of the horrific attack, and was arrested as part of a surgical operation carried out by Israeli security forces. After it became clear to the investigators that the terrorist was hiding in the mosque some 15 kilometers north of Jerusalem, a SWAT unit was sent to the location late Friday night. The force that arrived at the scene encountered violent disturbances, which included Palestinians hurling pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails, burning tires and throwing stones.
The soldiers initially searched the mosque but couldn’t locate the suspect and left the area in order to reorganize. The investigators from the Shin Bet domestic security service then examined CCTV footage from various buildings in the neighborhood, including the mosque, and decided to send a force from the Border Police's counter-terrorism unit Yamam to inspect the abandoned building that aroused their suspicions. A military dog named Zili was the first to reach the terrorist and trap him, and he was eventually arrested unarmed and without resistance.
Maor Zemach, chairman of the pro-Zionist Lach Jerusalem organization, lashed out at the Palestinian Authority for releasing the video, calling it an attempt to ”criticize Israel for desecrating holy places" and deflect from the act of murder itself.
"This clearly explains the distorted priorities of the Palestinian Authority: the cruel murder of Jews is acceptable, while fighting terror is not,” Zemach said.
In the meantime, the residents of various Palestinian villages adjacent to the settlement of Tekoa, where Ansbacher lived, are expected to pay a condolence visit to her family. The Palestinian delegation, which will consist of around 10 people, was an initiative of the Israeli Tag Meir umbrella organization that combats hate speech and incitement by Jewish extremists.
"We are against murder and violence on both sides of the conflict, people have to respect the other. There is nothing more precious than human life, it’s the most sacred thing," said Ziad Sabatin, a member of the Palestinian delegation from the village of Husan near Bethlehem.
No Palestinian officials have condemned the murder, and not one of the Palestinian terror groups has claimed responsibility — including Hamas, to which Irfaiya was reportedly affiliated.