The following has been cleared for publication:
The Israeli Security Agency (ISA), in cooperation with the Israel Police (Samaria and Judea District), including the special anti-terror unit, and the IDF, in intelligence and operational activity, detained – on 24 December 2020 – for investigation by the ISA, a suspect in the brutal, murderous terrorist attack on the late Esther Horgan, which was perpetrated on 20 December 2020.
The suspect is Muhammad Cabha, 40, from the village of Tura al-Gharbiya, near Jenin, who has previously served sentences for terrorist activity.
Four additional suspects were arrested with him for assisting him in hiding from the security forces following the attack.
During his ISA and Israel Police investigation, it was learned that Cabha murdered Esther Horgan for nationalist motives; he also divulged additional details about the murder:
Approximately six weeks before the murder, the suspect decided to carry out a terrorist attack after he was influenced – inter alia – by the death of a security prisoner he knew, Kamal Abu Awar, who died in prison due to an illness.
To this end, he went to the area of the murder via a breach in the security fence in order to familiarize himself with the area. After discerning scant traffic in the area and the passage of Israeli civilians, he decided that the place was suitable for carrying out the terrorist attack.
It was also learned that on 20 December 2020, in the afternoon, when the suspect was in the forest adjacent to Tal Menashe in order to engage in smuggling cigarettes through the fence, he identified a Jewish woman walking alone, and attacked and murdered her.
In the days following the attack, the suspect was aided by his relatives, as well as acquaintances in the village of Dayr al-Ghusun, in hiding from the security forces.
The investigation of the suspect is ongoing; upon its conclusion it is anticipated that he will be tried in the Samaria Military Court.
The security forces will continue to take determined counter-terrorist action and will deal with those involved to the fullest extent of the law.