Palestinian Suspected of Sexually Assaulting and Killing Israeli Teen Reenacts Murder at Crime Scene

Arafat Irfaiya, a 29-year-old resident of the Hebron who was jailed in Israel in the past, was arrested Saturday ■ Israeli security forces mapped his home ahead of demolition

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Israel Defense Forces operating in Hebron, February 9, 2019.
Israel Defense Forces operating in Hebron, February 9, 2019.Credit: IDF Spokesperson

The Palestinian man suspected of sexually assaulting and murdering 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher reenacted the crime at the scene of the murder in the Jerusalem Forest on Sunday. 

The 29-year-old Arafat Irfaiya showed interrogators where he found Ansbacher in the forest.

In the reenactment, he demonstrated where he saw the teen sitting on a chair in the woods, sexually assaulted her and then killed her.

Ori Ansbacher.

Police spotted signs of struggle on the ground at the crime scene.

The Israeli military mapped on Saturday night the suspect's home in Hebron.

Ansbacher, who hailed from the settlement of Tekoa, was found naked Thursday, with stab wounds to her chest, at Ein Yael, southwest of Jerusalem.

>> Swift operation led to capture of Israeli teen's suspected murderer, who likely acted alone | Analysis

The suspect was arrested Saturday in a joint operation by the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet and the Israel Border Police's counter-terrorism unit (Yamam) near Ramallah following intelligence security forces received.

The scene were Ansbacher's body was found, Ein Yael, February 7, 2019.Credit: Mahmoud Illean/AP

According to the Shin Bet, Irfaiya left his house on Thursday with a knife in his possession and made his way toward the Palestinian West Bank town of Beit Jala. He walked in the direction of a nearby forest, where he spotted Ansbacher and proceeded to assault her.

Security officials say the Israel Police and Shin Bet are familiar with Irfaiya due to his inciting comments and criminal record. In 2009, he was arrested for possession of a knife and imprisoned for three months. In 2017, he was arrested for staying in Israel illegally and for possession of a knife, and served five months in prison. According to a security source, he is affiliated with Hamas.

The Shin Bet also revealed that during the extensive operation to locate the suspect, the latter hid in a mosque and later in a nearby abandoned building in Ramallah, where an Israeli SWAT team finally apprehended him. The knife he alledgedly used in the murder was found during the arrest.

Irfaiya has not been allowed to consult with an attorney, and is said to be cooperating in the investigation.

A gag order has been placed on the rest of the details of the investigation, which is focusing on the suspicion the murder was politically motivated.

Following various reports on social media regarding the circumstances of the teen's death, the Israel Police released a statement in which it denied the rumors and called on the public not to spread misinformation.

Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have so far failed to respond to the murder. The silence on their part is unusual, and contradicts the pattern of responses that usually follow terror attacks.

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