Terrorist Murderers of American Tourist Get Life Sentences

November 24, 2011  

A terrorist who was convicted of the murders of U.S. tourist Christine Luken (Logan) and Zichron Ya’akov resident Neta Blatt Sorek was sentenced to two life sentences, plus an additional 60 years in prison.

The terrorist, Kafah Ghanimat, headed a gang of three terrorists who committed not only those murders, but a long list of other crimes, including burglary, assault, theft, arms trafficking, as well as attempting to murder other victims, but failing. Among the latter was Kaye Wilson, a friend of Luken’s whom the terrorists tried to kill, was left for dead but survived. Wilson, a tour guide, was badly injured in the attack.

Kafah’s brother, Ibrahim Ghanimat, was also convicted of the murder of Sorek, and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 16 years. Luken was killed in December 2010 in the Mata Forest near Jerusalem, where she had been hiking with Wilson. Sorek was murdered near the Beit Jamal Monastery outside Beit Shemesh in February 2010, also while taking a hike.

Police had initially ascribed the death of the mother of one to suicide, a conjecture vehemently denied by the family, and eventually rejected as a theory by police after they collected further evidence.

The two were arrested several days after murdering Luken, after an intensive investigation by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). The two confessed to the murders under questioning, and the investigation yielded forensic evidence, including a small knife that Wilson had stabbed the terrorists with in an attempt to defend herself.

Wilson testified during the trial, describing details of the attack; how the terrorists snuck up on the two women, binding and gagging them, and stabbing them multiple times. Wilson played dead and managed to survive, describing how she dragged herself to a nearby parking lot to inform someone of what had happened – and telling the court, in tears, of how she left her friend to die alone.

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