Terrorist who killed Israeli teen fit to stand trial

A psychiatric evaluation of Arafat Irfaiya concludes he is mentally competent and responsible for his actions in murdering Ori Ansbacher.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A psychiatric evaluation of Arafat Irfaiya submitted to the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday found that the confessed killer of Jewish teenager Ori Ansbacher is mentally fit to stand trial.

The evaluation, carried out by the district psychiatrist, was ordered by the court last month upon the request of the terrorist’s lawyer. He had claimed that his client, who raped Ansbacher as well as stabbing her repeatedly all over her body, suffered from psychological problems.

Irfaiya himself told police that he killed Miss Ansbacher for nationalistic motives. On February 7, he had taken a knife with him when he left his Hebron home and came to Jerusalem because he “wanted to harm Jews.”

When he came across Ansbacher, who was taking a break from her work as a National Service volunteer at the Yaelim Center for Children and Youth at Risk, he “attacked her with harsh violence and cruelty,” according to the indictment.  He then fled the scene, but was caught a day later by IDF special forces near Ramallah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had personally told the Ansbacher family during his shiva (week of mourning) visit that their daughter’s murder had been an act of terrorism and not a mad, criminal act. When the indictment was published in March, they said they had been comforted by the “big hug” they had received from the Jewish people after suffering “the event…that is not a private occurrence but a national one.”

Hundreds of people attended Ansbacher’s funeral, where she was eulogized as a sensitive, kind person who loved to help others, sing, dance and write. She had in fact gone to the forest on the day of her death with a pad of paper and a pen, to be alone in nature, which she loved, in order to write down her thoughts, something that she often did, according to her friends in national service.

Ori means “light,” and many spoke of how she had been “a child of light” after her passing.

Family friends set up a crowdfunding campaign a few weeks after the murder to help the family financially. Over a million shekels were donated in just a few days.