Palestinian man arrested following murder of Israeli woman

Palestinian man arrested following murder of Israeli woman in occupied West Bank
2 min read
09 February, 2019
The Israeli woman's body was found covered in stab marks near Jerusalem, and has been subject to a gag order.
The murdered woman from the settlement of Tekoa [Getty]

A Palestinian man has been detained by police, accused of murdering a 19-year-old Israeli woman whose body was found near Jerusalem on Thursday night.

The suspect was arrested during a raid on Saturday by Israeli SWAT forces at a mosque in Ramallah, sparking clashes with Palestinians.

The suspect was not named but is said to come from the flashpoint city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, and is being questioned by Shin Bet, Israel said on Saturday.

The body of Ori Ansbacher, 19, was found on Thursday evening in the south of Jerusalem.

She was buried on Friday in the Israeli settlement of Tekoa, in the occupied city of Hebron.

Ansbacher was the daughter of a rabbi from the Israeli settlement.

The 30-year-old suspect comes from the flashpoint city of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank, police said.

Israeli media reported that Ansbacher's body was found naked and with stab wounds close to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, although the killing remains subject to an Israeli gag order.

Previous statements about the murder came only from top Israeli diplomats and politicians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed in a statement on Friday evening that "the security forces will track down those responsible for this killing and we will treat them with the full force of the law".

It comes as Netanyahu runs for election, with the current prime minister attempting to appear tough on security.

His principal challenger in the April general election is former armed forces chief of staff Benny Gantz, who said he had full confidence in the ability of the security forces to arrest the killer.

The future of the West Bank is set to be one of the main issues of the Israeli election campaign.

Gantz, who is running on a centre-right ticket, has hinted that he could be willing back to withdraw from occupied territories as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu's far-right coalition partners want to declare the unilateral annexation of large swathes of the Palestinian territory, something considered illegal under international law and would end any chance of peace with Palestinians.

Some 650,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem.

The settlements are built on Palestinian land and seen as illegal under international law and a major obstacle to peace.

 
Agencies contributed to this story.