An Israeli court on Sunday sentenced a Palestinian man to life in prison plus an additional 20 years for raping and murdering a 19-year-old Jewish woman, a crime judges concluded was politically motivated.
Arafat Irfaiya, a resident of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, was sentenced by the Jerusalem district court over the killing of Ori Ansbacher in February 2019.
The panel of three judges determined that her murder was “also an act of terror”.
Irfaiya, in his early 30s, was given a life sentence for the killing and an additional 20 years for rape.
The attack took place in a Jerusalem forest near the youth centre where Ansbacher had been working as part of her national service.
After illegally crossing into Israel, “the defendant saw Ori sitting on a rock, and decided to kill her just because she was Jewish”, the sentencing read. The judges described Irfaiya’s behaviour and lack of remorse as “brutal, inhuman and cruel”.
The killing gripped Israelis and spurred Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to implement the law to withhold money from the Palestinian Authority (PA) over its payments to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis.
Israel collects around $128 million a month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports, and then transfers that revenue to the PA.