Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency confirmed on Sunday that the rape and murder of an Israeli teenager late last week is being officially treated as an act of terror.
According to Israel’s Channel 2, the brutal killing of Ori Ansbacher, 19, was committed for nationalistic reasons.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Ansbacher family at their home in the West Bank village of Tekoa on Sunday and told them personally about the official findings.
“It isn’t surprising,” Netanyahu said, “but I wanted you to know.”
According to an official statement, Netanyahu and his wife also heard from Ori’s parents about her personality and said that “the entire public embraces them in their terrible grief.”
Ansbacher’s body was found on Thursday in a wooded area near Jerusalem. Signs of extreme violence were reportedly found on the body, though details have been withheld. It was not officially revealed until Sunday that she was also raped.
Forensic evidence quickly led authorities to a suspect. Arafat Irfayia, 29, a resident of Hebron, was arrested on Friday night in a joint operation between Israeli domestic intelligence and special forces personnel.
Irfayia reportedly confessed shortly afterwards and reenacted the crime for investigators. Authorities are reportedly planning to seek two charges — murder and sexual assault.