Arafat Irfaiya, a 29-year-old man in Israeli custody for raping and brutally murdering 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher of Tekoa on Feb. 7, told Shin Bet security service interrogators that he wanted to be a martyr and left his home in Hebron that day looking to kill a Jew.
According to a report on Israel’s Channel 13 news, Irfaiya sprinted across the security border separating between pre-1967 Israel and Judea in order to evade detection by security cameras and came upon Ansbacher in the forest.
“I entered Israel with a knife because I wanted to become a martyr and murder a Jew,” Irfaiya reportedly said. “I met the girl by chance.”
The details of Ansbacher’s murder have been largely hidden from the public, but prosecutors are reportedly aiming to tack a rape charge to the murder charge. Police confirmed that Ansbacher had been stabbed multiple times in the chest. Irfaiya has re-enacted the murder for interrogators and confessed to committing the gruesome killing.
Irfaiya appeared for a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court smiling, with scrapes and scratches on his face, smirking into the cameras of journalists.
The Shin Bet has said that the murder, which sparked outrage throughout Israel along with calls for the death penalty, was motivated by Palestinian nationalism, though it did not officially deem the attack terrorism.
Channel 13 reported that Irfaiya had served time in prison for security-related crimes in the past, namely attempting to enter the Temple Mount in Jerusalem armed with a large knife. He allegedly told police that if he were released, he would “come back here with a knife.”
Irfaiya was arrested near Ramallah in southern Samaria. His house in the Judean city of Hebron has been prepared for demolition, in accordance with Israeli policy for terrorist murderers.