A group of five Palestinian men were filmed desecrating a memorial grove to an Israeli teen who was raped and murdered last month by a Palestinian terrorist.

The incident took place earlier this week near Gush Etzion in Judea (the so-called West Bank) where Israelis had planted fifty trees in a memorial grove for Ori Ansbacher, a Jewish teen who was raped and murdered by a Palestinians terrorist on 7 February 2019. The grove is close to the Israeli towns of Tekoa, where Ansbacher lived, and Nokdim.

Five men, thought to be Palestinians, are seen removing and carrying away the trees. The person filming the scene appears to be an Israeli who was walking his dog at the time.

Unfortunately, this news has not seen much media attention despite the deep hurt it would have caused to the Jewish community in Gush Etzion and to many Israelis.

The terrorist attack on Ori Ansbacher

Ori Ansbacher, 19, loved long walks in nature where she would go to be alone and write poetry.

One of the last poems Ansbacher wrote was in part: “Make it so your world will be a world of peace. Remember the maiden you are, the honey you had before they descended upon you, re-establish yourself, revive the maiden and build yourself a world, a world of peace.”

Ansbacher was reported missing Thursday morning after going for a walk in the woods, and her remains were discovered Thursday night at approximately 7:00 p.m. Her body was found in the Ein Yael forest, with multiple stab wounds to the chest. There is still a gag order on the full details of the murder.

Israeli security forces later apprehended Arafat Arafiah, a 29-year-old Palestinian Arab from Hevron who had illegally entered Jerusalem with a knife.

Arafiah confessed to raping and murdering Ansbacher, and reenacted the murder for police. “I entered Israel with a knife because I wanted to become a martyr and murder a Jew,” Irfayia said. “I met the girl by chance.”

The Shin Bet internal security agency has said that, based on Arafiah’s statements, the murder appeared to be a nationalistically-motivated act of terrorism. Israeli authorities also have forensic evidence that links Arafiah to the scene of the attack.

The Palestinian leadership, in all factions, have been trying to distance themselves from this attack. It is thought that because it involved rape, it could be seen as “bad publicity”. It seems odd that some terrorist organisations see killing Jews as an acceptable action, but that rape is a step too far.

This claim not only comes from Palestinian leaders but members of Israel’s own parliament. Aida Touma-Suleiman, an Arab Knesset member, made the outrageous claim that “the rape and murder of Ori Ansbacher is a sex-related crime … the Palestinian criminal … can’t possibly be part of a national liberation.”

The reality is that Arafiah had been brought up in a culture that celebrates the murder of Jews. His family are associated with the terrorist organisation Hamas and he himself had distributed Hamas information to others on social media. He entered Israel, armed with a knife, with the intention of killing a Jew. Unfortunately, he happened upon a young Jewish woman and decided to rape and murder her. He was doing this because he believed what he had been taught through his religion and from his government, that he would be rewarded for doing so.

This was an act of terrorism and is a shocking reminder of the mindset of terrorism that Israel has to face.