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PA minister ignores brutal murder of young Israeli woman but criticizes Israel for searching in mosque for murderer
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PA minister ignores brutal murder of young Israeli woman,
but criticizes Israel for searching in mosque
for murderer
 
  • PA Minister: "This cowardly attack against a religious and sacred place of worship, without any consideration for its sanctity and its religious and spiritual value, constitutes part of a series of daily attacks against our Islamic and Christian holy sites"
     
  • Undercover Israeli soldiers entered mosque in search for suspected murderer, and took footage from the mosque's security camera, leading to arrest of murderer in nearby building
     
  • 19-year-old Israeli woman was brutally attacked and stabbed to death in a Jerusalem forest 

 
Ori Ansbacher 
[Image courtesy of family]

By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Three days ago, a 19-year-old Israeli woman, Ori Ansbacher, was stabbed several times and brutally murdered in Jerusalem. DNA from the scene led Israel to the Palestinian, 29-year-old Arafat Arfiah, who was captured after soldiers entered a mosque and seized footage from its security camera.

PA Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ida'is completely ignored the fact that a young Israeli woman had been attacked, stabbed, and murdered by a Palestinian, but was quick to "condemn" Israel's entering the mosque to search for the terrorist as an "attack," according to the PA's official daily. Moreover, not only was there no reference to the murder in the minister's quote, this entire article in the official PA daily did not even mention the terror attack and murder as the context of Israel's search to the mosque.

Absurdly, the minister complained that the Israeli soldiers' entrance into the mosque lacked "any consideration for its sanctity and its religious and spiritual value." Concerned about "sanctity" and "spiritual values," he didn't even mention the innocent 19-year-old Israeli victim:

"[PA] Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ida'is condemned the attack against the sanctity of the Jamal Abd Al-Nasser Mosque under baseless and unacceptable pretexts. Ida'is said in a press statement that this cowardly attack against a religious and sacred place of worship, without any consideration for its sanctity and its religious and spiritual value, constitutes part of a series of daily attacks against our Islamic and Christian holy sites, and particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the pearl of Palestine, by the occupation forces and unbridled settlers and under political cover of the right-wing occupation government."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 9, 2019]

The headline did not mention the murder either, but focused solely on the "occupation's raid":

"The occupation raided the Jamal Abd Al-Nasser Mosque, the Sateh Marhaba neighborhood and Al-Quds Street in El-Bireh"

Media reports in Israel have stated that the Palestinian has confessed to the murder, but that it is not yet clear based on his statement if it was nationalistically motivated - meaning an act of terror -or criminally motivated.

The distinction is of significance for the murderer, especially in terms of how the Palestinian Authority decides to view it. If this was a nationalistically motivated crime, i.e., terror - what the PA terms "struggle against the occupation" - then Arafat Arfiah will be entitled to receive a monthly salary under the PA's "Pay for Slay" program with which the PA uses to reward terrorist murderers. Should this be the case, prisoner Arfiah will receive at least 1,400 shekels/month starting from the day of his arrest, eventually rising to as high at 12,000 shekels/month.

In a second report, the official PA daily in order to give a more positive spin on the murder, falsely claimed that murder victim Ori Ansbacher was "a female soldier in the occupation army." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 10, 2019] In fact, Ansbacher was a civilian volunteer performing national service at a youth center.

Palestinian Media Watch has reported that PA officials as policy accuse Israelis and Jews of "invading" and "attacking" the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Muslim and Christian holy sites. 

The following is a longer excerpt of the reports in the official PA daily:

Headline: "The occupation raided the Jamal Abd Al-Nasser Mosque, the Sateh Marhaba neighborhood and Al-Quds Street in El-Bireh"
"A special Israeli force of undercover soldiers raided the Jamal Abd Al-Nasser Mosque in the heart of El-Bireh yesterday evening [Feb. 8, 2019] and took the film from its security cameras (in order to find the suspect in the brutal murder of an Israeli woman; see note below -Ed.)...
[PA] Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ida'is condemned the attack against the sanctity of the Jamal Abd Al-Nasser Mosque under baseless and unacceptable pretexts. Ida'is said in a press statement that this cowardly attack against a religious and sacred place of worship, without any consideration for its sanctity and its religious and spiritual value, constitutes part of a series of daily attacks against our Islamic and Christian holy sites, and particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the pearl of Palestine, by the occupation forces and unbridled settlers and under political cover of the right-wing occupation government. Ida'is demanded that the international community defend the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Palestine from these attacks, which have become systematic."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 9, 2019]

Ori Ansbacher -19-year-old Israeli woman who was brutally attacked and stabbed to death in Jerusalem on Feb. 7, 2019. The suspect, 29-year-old Palestinian Arafat Arfiah, was apprehended on Feb. 8, 2019.

Headline: "The occupation claimed that the young person that was arrested in Ramallah is suspected in the murder of a female soldier..."
"The occupation police spokesman announced that during the raid the occupation army carried out yesterday [Feb. 8, 2019] in Ramallah, a young person was arrested who is suspected in the murder of a female soldier in the occupation army (sic., Ori Ansbacher was not a soldier, she was a civilian volunteer performing national service; see note below)...
The body of Ori Ansbacher (19) was found on Thursday evening [Feb. 7, 2019] in southern occupied Jerusalem, and she was buried on Friday at the settlement of Tekoa. In a statement, the Israeli Security Agency revealed the identity of the 'central suspect in the crime' - in its words - and he is Arafat Arfia (29)."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 10, 2019]