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Monday, December 20, 2010

Tragic Attack and Murder

The news is full of the story of two women who were brutally attacked while hiking near Beit Shemesh. There are reports on all the news sites, but YNet has the most current update at this link.

Israel Insider posted the first details. Here is an excerpt. You can read the entire story at their site.

An American tourist killed in a forest outside Jerusalem was employed by an evangelical missionary cult (CMJ) that promotes Christianity with the primary purpose of converting Jews. Kristine Luken, in her mid-40s, was stabbed to death in mysterious circumstances Saturday while hiking with a "messianic" female friend, Kaye Susan Wilson, a tour guide for the missionary organization. 

On Saturday, the two headed for the wooded hills southwest of Jerusalem,  Wilson told Israeli reporters from her hospital bed Sunday, telling them that she and Luken were attacked by two Arab men with what she said looked like a large bread knife, an unusual choice for terrorists, although in an interview with Yediot she acknowledged that she had taken out a small "lady knife" of her own when she felt they were in danger.

Police have issued a blackout on their investigation, and there is no indication whether Wilson's "lady knife" had on it signs of blood. However, YNetnews reports that on Saturday, police officers arrived at Wilson's house in Givat Ze'ev and spoke with her neighbors in an effort to find out more details.

"I heard about the incident in the news and suddenly a few police officers appeared and told me what happened," Shulamit Avital, Wilson's landlord and neighbor recounted on Sunday. "They asked me to open the door to her apartment and took out some documents and personal belongings. No one knows the details of the incident," she added.

Wilson claimed she escaped to a nearby road after pretending to be dead, hearing her dying friends screams. After the alleged killers had left, she said, she rolled down a hill to a road side, where she was seen by two Israeli families, who notified police. She suffered only superficial wounds. Luken's body, hands bound and bearing multiple stab wounds much more serious than those of Wilson, was discovered Sunday morning in the nearby forest.

The forest is inside Israel but close to the "green line," near the Palestinian villages of Husan and Wadi Fukin.

While missionary activity to convert Jews is illegal in Israel, the laws are not severe, however, the Arab community takes a march darker view of conversions. Most Muslim countries have severe penalties--including death--for proselytizing and for  those who try to leave Islam.

The people in Israel and around the world are praying that those responsible are caught quickly. Tragically, this will not bring back Kristine Luken to those who loved her.

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