Israel to demolish Palestinian murder suspect’s home

Israeli authorities are threatening to demolish this building which houses Arafat Irfaiya, a Palestinian suspected of killing a young Israeli woman, in the flashpoint city of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank. (AFP / HAZEM BADER)
Updated 10 February 2019
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Israel to demolish Palestinian murder suspect’s home

  • Israeli authorities said the suspect was arrested over the weekend and has not yet been charged
  • Irfaiya is suspected ot murdering Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old Israeli woman last week

JERUSALEM: The Israeli Army said on Sunday it had started preparations to demolish the West Bank home of a Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli woman.

“Overnight, troops operated in Hebron, where the suspect in the murder of Ori Ansbacher is from,” the army said in an English-language statement.

“During the operation, the troops surveyed the suspect’s house in order to examine the possibility of its demolition.”

The suspect was arrested over the weekend and has not yet been charged.

The body of Ansbacher, 19, was found late on Thursday in southeast Jerusalem, and she was buried the next day in her Israeli settlement of Tekoa.

Israeli security forces arrested the suspect in a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The Shin Bet security service named him as 29-year-old Arafat Irfaiya from Hebron.

Both the police and Shin Bet have said investigations have so far not found conclusively whether the killing was a “terrorist attack” or from other motives.

In the runup to Israel’s general election in April, however, politicians and Israeli media appeared to have no such doubts on Sunday.

“I have no doubts about the nationalist motives of the murderer,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told public radio.

“After so many years of suffering from terror we should know — this is a nationalist attack.”

Commenting on calls to execute Palestinian militant killers, Erdan said he was in favor of applying the death penalty in certain circumstances.

“If it becomes clear that there is no possibility of rehabilitating the murderer and that he abused his victim, in such cases capital punishment should be applied,” he said.

“The time has come to employ the death penalty for terrorists, as the law allows us to do,” the daily Maariv quoted MP Bezalel Smotrich of the far right Jewish Home party as saying.

Despite a court gag order, Israeli social media were abuzz over the weekend with what Yediot Aharonot newspaper called “graphic descriptions about the alleged nature of the murder.”

Police called on the public not to share “publications and reports, especially on social media, about the circumstances of the murder case, including irresponsible horrific descriptions.”

“We hereby clarify that those are completely baseless publications,” police said.


UN urges resolving fate of 2,500 foreign children at Syria camp

Updated 18 April 2019
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UN urges resolving fate of 2,500 foreign children at Syria camp

  • Panos Moumtzis, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said home nations must take responsibility for repatriating their citizens, prosecuting where necessary
  • Britain revoked the citizenship of Shamima Begum who left at 15 to join Daesh in Syria

GENEVA: Around 2,500 foreign children are stuck in a guarded section of a Syrian camp after fleeing Daesh's last stronghold, a senior United Nations official said on Thursday, urging governments not to abandon them.
The children's plight at the Al-Hol camp in northeast Syria is a dilemma for nations who saw citizens leave and fight for the extremist movement in Syria and Iraq only to find themselves in limbo after the fall of their self-proclaimed "caliphate."
Panos Moumtzis, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said home nations must take responsibility for repatriating their citizens, prosecuting where necessary.
"Really nobody should be rendered stateless and every effort should be made to find a solution for these people," he told a Geneva news briefing.
The children are among 10,000 non-Syrian and non-Iraqi nationals kept in a "restricted" section of the sprawling, Kurdish-run camp where 75,000 people live in total.
Some 211 children were among at least 260 people who died of malnutrition or disease en route to the camp since December, the latest UN figures show.
Britain revoked the citizenship of a teenager who left at 15 to join Daesh in Syria, while Austria and Switzerland have said they will not help bring home adults who joined the terrorist group.
But Moumtzis said states had a legal responsibility, especially for children, many of whom were born in Daesh camps. "Children should be treated first and foremost as victims" and "irrespective of family affiliation," he said.
The situation is further complicated because most states lack the capacity to offer consular services or access their nationals in the area. "There has to be a concerted effort, this is not about blaming or 'naming and shaming', but it's really about being practical and finding a way forward that would find a solution," the UN official said.