Jerusalem court delays sentencing Palestinian rapist and murderer of Jewish teen

Jerusalem District Court orders another psychiatric opinion for Palestinian who stands to earn almost $1.5 million for the killing.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A Jerusalem court rejected a request for a verdict and sentence in the trial of a Palestinian who admitted to raping and murdering a young Israeli woman last year, Kan Radio reported on Sunday.

Arafat Irfayia from the city of Hebron confessed at his trial last month and admitted that he had raped 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher before knifing her to death.

Ansbacher’s body was found Feb. 7, 2019 with multiple stab wounds over all parts of her body in a forest on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem shortly after she was reported missing.

Terror victim Ori Ansbacher

Terror victim Ori Ansbacher. (Courtesy)

The court agreed to a defense request for another psychiatric opinion despite a psychiatric evaluation submitted to the court last year that Irfayia was found fit to stand trial.

The terrorist had reconstructed the killing for Israel investigators. He says he left his home in Hebron with the express intention of killing a Jew.

“It would seem that the court is insistent on finding Irfayia’s psychological problem,” said Maurice Hirsch, a former senior military prosecutor in the IDF.

“He confessed. He should be convicted and sentenced to the mandatory life sentence,” Hirsch told World Israel News.

Palestinian social media continued to praise Irfayia Sunday, claiming that he had “killed a Zionist female soldier” and calling him a “heroic prisoner.”

The brutal murder of Ansbacher helped drive the Israeli government to enforce earlier legislation to deduct the amount the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays to jailed terrorists or their families (in the event the terrorist was killed in the course of the attack) using tax money Israel transfers to the PA on a monthly basis.

However, the PA rejected all calls against the pay-for-slay practice and emphasized that it would continue paying stipends to all prisoners, including those convicted of murdering Israelis. The PA has made it clear making such payments is its highest priority.

According to the the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the 29-year-old Arafat Irfaiya is expected to receive over 5 million shekels ($1.5 million) from the PA by the time he reaches the age of 75.

Hirsch, one of the author’s of Israel’s law to ban financial support for terrorism, says Defense Minister Benny Gantz  stepped in and blocked implementation of the law against pay-for-slay.

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“The law was implemented in 2019, following the murder of Ori, but has not been implemented since the beginning of 2020,” said Hirsch, who is now Director of Legal Strategies at Palestine Media Watch, an NGO that monitors what Palestinian officials say in Arabic.

Hirsch pointed out that Israel’s cabinet has not made any decision and the tens of millions in terror rewards paid by the PA so far in 2020 have not been deducted.

“When the Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz decided to freeze the new anti-terror legislation in Judea and Samaria, he made a huge mistake,” Hirsch said.

“That legislation, which criminalized the provision of services, including carrying out banking transactions, in order to facilitate the payment of rewards for carrying out acts of terrorism, was one of the most substantial steps taken to date to wipe out the Pay-for-Slay policy.”

“I sincerely hope that the temporary reprieve given by Gantz to the PA and the terrorists, will quickly be rescinded,” Hirsch said.