‘We looked for side-locks’: Terrorists detail August murder of 19-year-old Dvir Sorek

The two cousins picked their victim because he was alone and they “knew he was a settler because of his skullcap and side-locks.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The police deposition of the confessed murderers of 19-year-old Dvir Sorek shows that the two had decided to murder a “settler” out of nationalistic motives, and chose Sorek simply because he fit the “settlers’ look” and was alone, according to the leaked document published Thursday on Ynet.

The interrogation revealed that cousins Nassir and Qassam Issafara had come separately to the idea that killing a Jew would be a proper response to Israel’s “occupation” of what they considered to be Palestinian land.

Nassir had bought the eight-inch knife he used on Sorek a full two years earlier, and told the interrogator that he had trained often to build up his strength.

“I practiced alone at home, [then] with Qassem in the wadi,” he said.

Qassem said that he had been incited by the local imam.

“For several months, I’d been going to the mosque and hearing about the situation at Al-Aqsa [on the Temple Mount], that on regular days they prevent Muslim Palestinian worshipers from entering but allow settlers, and also there’s building in the settlements and the land that’s ours was taken forcibly by the Israeli occupier, and I always wished that I could die like a martyr,” he told his interrogator.

Qassem bought a taser in Hebron, and asked Nassir if he’d be willing to carry out an attack together in the Gush Etzion area. If possible, he told Nassir to shock their victim and drag him into their car before killing him and hiding the body so that the security personnel would “tire themselves out until they found the settler.” T

hey had no intention of asking for a prisoner trade in exchange, he said. If Nassir couldn’t shock him, he told him to just kill the Jew on the spot.

When asked how they chose their victim, Qassem said, “We looked for a certain description, like a settler’s hat [a skullcap] and side-locks.”

That description, which fits many religious Jewish men, also fit Sorek, who had gotten off a bus that night alone, and was walking on a dark road towards his yeshiva in Kibbutz Migdal Oz. Qassem drove their car up to the young man and blocked his way, and Nassir jumped out.

“I tried to shock the settler but I couldn’t activate the taser,” Nassir said in his description of the attack.

“At that moment, the settler tried to push me backwards and I pushed the settler and he fell on the ground. I took out the knife and started stabbing him in his upper body, and he tried to protect himself by covering his face and chest with his hands. After that the settler didn’t move and I got into the car with Qassem.”

The two sped back to their village of Beit Kahil, about 10 kilometers away. An elite IDF force captured them two days later while they were asleep, mostly due to intelligence work and an analysis of security cameras in the area. They were indicted some two weeks ago for murder and other serious crimes.

In response to their crimes, the cousins’ homes have already been mapped out to be demolished and the IDF gave their families the official orders in September. The High Court is supposed to rule on the families’ appeal of the demolitions at the end of the month.