Israel on Wednesday indicted four Palestinian Arab men, two of whom confessed to the December 19 murder of American Christian tourist Kristine Luken and the attempted murder of her friend Israeli tour guide Kaye Wilson while the two women were hiking in a forest near Jerusalem.
Wilson’s life was spared in the attack when she managed to fool the terrorists into believing she was already dead, after being stabbed several times in the chest and back with what appeared to be a bread knife. Luken was not so fortunate.
After the terrorists left the scene, Wilson struggled to reach a nearby Israeli community, where local residents provided aid and contacted police. Police officials later said the information provided by Wilson was “crucial” to capturing the terrorists two days later on December 21 in villages outside the Judean town of Hebron.
But the story didn’t end there. After nabbing the men who attacked Luken and Wilson, police discovered they were part of a 13-man group that had originally been involved in petty crime, but had in recent years turned to terrorism.
The men said that after the January 2010 assassination of top Hamas operative Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai, presumably by Israel, their thoughts turned to murder. “We wanted to kill Jews,” one of the men was quoted as telling police.
They missed their mark with Luken, who was an American Christian working for the Anglican Church ministry Christian Mission to the Jews (CMJ). Wilson, who is an Israeli Messianic believer in Yeshua (Jesus), also works under the auspices of the CMJ.
The men confessed to killing Luken and trying to kill Wilson, to murdering a Jewish schoolteacher near the town of Beit Shemesh last February, to opening fire on Israeli army patrols in Judea and to a long string of home burglaries and car thefts in Beit Shemesh and other Israeli towns. They are also suspected of raping a Jewish woman in 2009.
Eight members of the cell have so far been captured.