Arab suspect admits to killing Esther Horgan, mother of 6, out for morning jog

Her body was found in the early hours of Monday morning after her family reported her missing.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The suspect who killed Esther Horgan was 40-year-old Muhammad Cabha from the town of Tura al-Gharbiyyeh, near Jenin. Cabha admits to the killing, says the Israeli Security Agency (ISA).

Cabha has previously served time for terrorist-related activity. Four additional suspects were arrested with him for assisting him in hiding from the security forces following the attack, the ISA says.

During the investigation, it was learned that Cabha murdered Horgan out of anti-Israel motives.

He revealed that approximately six weeks before the murder, he decided to carry out a terrorist attack after he was influenced, among other things, by the death of a security prisoner he knew, Kamal Abu Awar, who died in prison due to an illness.

He went to the area of the murder via a breach in the security fence in order to familiarize himself with the area. After discerning scant traffic and the passage of Israeli civilians, he decided that the place was suitable for carrying out the attack.

On the day of the murder, Cabha was in the forest adjacent to Tal Menashe in order to engage in smuggling cigarettes through the fence when he identified a Jewish woman walking alone. He attacked and killed her.

In the days following the attack, the suspect was aided by his relatives, as well as acquaintances in the village of Dayr al-Ghusun, in hiding from the security forces, the ISA reports.

The investigation of the suspect is ongoing. It’s anticipated that he will be tried in the Samaria Military Court, the ISA says.

Horgan, 52, was killed on Sunday, Dec. 20 when she went for a morning jog hear her town of Tal Menashe in Samaria. She was last seen minutes before she disappeared via a security camera as she headed into the Reihan forest near her town.

Her body was found in the early hours of Monday morning after her family reported her missing. Her skull had been smashed in by a rock.

“Esther went for a walk in nature, which she loved so much,” said Horgan’s husband, Benjamin. “She was not going off on an adventure, but [for] a routine walk, like a person does in any normal place in the country, and did not return.”

Horgan worked as an artist and marriage counselor. She was a mother of six. She was buried on Dec. 22.

Israel’s security forces announced they had arrested someone in connection with the killing on Dec. 24 but wouldn’t release more details than that it was a 40-year-old man from the Jenin area.

Jewish reaction to the killing was to call for more building in Judea and Samaria.

Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan called “on all leaders of the state to support the expansion of the settlement of Tal Menashe and construction throughout Judea and Samaria.”

Esther’s husband told President Reuven Rivlin, who paid a condolence call, that the family was not interested in revenge. Their consolation would be the government signing off further construction of 107 new homes to double the size of Tal Menashe.