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Palestinian terror cell indicted for American woman’s murder

JTA

January 26, 2011 | 10:01 am

Members of a Palestinian terror cell were indicted for the murder of an American tourist in a forest near Jerusalem.

Four Palestinians from villages near Hebron were indicted Wednesday in Jerusalem District Court for the murder of Christine Logan, 40, also identified by some media outlets as Christine Luken, and for the attempted murder of her hiking partner Susan Kaye Wilson. The two women were attacked Dec. 18, 2010, while hiking at Khirbet Hanut, an archaeological site near Beit Shemesh. Wilson pretended to be dead and survived the ordeal and provided descriptions of the attackers. The suspects reportedly have confessed to the attack.

They are also accused in the murder of Netta Blatt-Sorek, 53, of Zichron Ya’akov, whose body was found last February near the Jerusalem-area monastery of Beit Jamal. At least one of the indicted men reportedly has confessed to that murder.

In all, 13 members of the terror cell were arrested following a joint investigation conducted by the Shin Bet, border police, special army units, and police, Jerusalem District Police chief Aharon Franco said Wednesday. Indictments against the other cell members are being prepared, according to reports.

The suspects are also accused of two cases of attempted murder, one count of rape, another of attempted rape, seven incidents of robbery, seven cases of breaking-and-entering, and for shooting at an Israeli military jeep.

The cell’s motivation was at first criminal, according to police, but became terrorist after the January 2010 assassination of senior Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, which is widely believed to have been executed by Israel’s Mossad.

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