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Israel says Palestinian arrested in killing of settler

January 4, 2021 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s internal security agency on Monday released details about a detained Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank last month.

The Shin Bet identified the suspect as Muhammad Cabha, 40, from a village near Jenin in the northern West Bank. It said he had previously served time in prison for “terrorist activity,” without elaborating, but did not mention a connection to any armed group.

Cabha is suspected of killing Esther Horgan, a 53-year-old mother of six, while she was out jogging in a forest near her home in the West Bank settlement of Tel Manashe on Dec. 20. Israeli authorities initially imposed a gag order on all details related to the investigation. Cabha was arrested Dec. 24.

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The Shin Bet said Cabha decided to carry out the attack after a security prisoner he knew died of illness in prison about six weeks earlier. It said that on Dec. 20 he was in the forest to smuggle cigarettes through a security fence when he saw Horgan and decided to kill her.

Shin Bet said another four suspects were arrested for allegedly helping Cabha to hide from security forces after the attack. It said he was aided by relatives and acquaintances in his village.

Cabha will likely be tried in a military court once the investigation is completed, it said.

Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 war. The Palestinians want the West Bank to be part of their future state and view the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace, a position shared by much of the international community.