As a follow-up to my September 18 posting ("Victim/Witness to American Tourist Kristine Luken's Murder Testifies in Jerusalem"), the Jerusalem District Court today (September 25) convicted Kafah Ghanimat for the December 17, 2010, murder of US tourist, Kristine Luken, 44, in the mountains outside Jerusalem and Neta Sorek of Zichron Yaacov, whose body was found on February 2010 near the Beit Jamal Monastery outside Jerusalem. Luken's body was discovered at a forest near Jerusalem in late December 2010, near the road connecting Beit Shemesh and Moshav Mata.
COMMENT: Ghanimat headed a cell of three Palestinians that committed multiple offenses during the past few years, including attempted murders, burglary, assault, theft, arms trafficking and breaking and entering. Ghanimat confessed to the murders as part of a plea bargain reached with the prosecution, in which it dropped another attempted murder charge and amended two other clauses in the case.
Last week, Justices Yaakov Zaban, Miriam Mizrahi and Rafi Carmel convicted another suspect in the case, Iyad Fatafa, who also confessed to the murder of Luken. An indictment was also filed against two other members of the cell.
The court also heart the riveting and emotional testimony of British-born and naturalized Israeli citizen Kaye Susan Wilson, 46, who was hiking with Luken when the two women were attacked by Ghanimat and Fatafa. Wilson, who was stabbed some twelve times, suffered several broken ribs, a broken sternum and a punctured lung, was nearly killed by the assailants.