US charges 2 terrorists for 2010 murder of American tourist in Israel


Charges were filed in the United States Thursday against two Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel for the 2010 murder of a US citizen who was visiting the Jewish state.

Ayad Fatafta and Kifah Ghanimat face federal charges for murdering Kristine Luken on December 18, 2010, in a stabbing attack in the Jerusalem Forest that also seriously wounded Kay Wilson, a British-born Israeli citizen.

The two terrorists, both residents of a village near Hebron — which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority — are currently serving prison sentences in Israel. Arrest warrants were issued against them in the US on Thursday.

In 2012, Fatafta was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 20 years, and Ghanimat was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment and a further 60 years, for the lethal stabbing attack as well as another crime.

According to the US affidavit, Fatafta and Ghanimat stabbed Luken — a 44-year-old US national — to death while she was hiking near an archaeological site on a visit to Israel. She died at the scene.

Kristine Luken was murdered by Palestinian terrorists on December 18, 2010 because they thought she was Jewish. (Photo credit: courtesy)

According to the US Justice Department, “the maximum penalty for a person convicted of murdering a US national outside the US is a lifetime term of incarceration or death.”

Wilson described her injuries in a Times of Israel blog post.

“I sustained 13 machete wounds in my lungs and diaphragm, six compound fractures in my ribs, 30 additional fractures, a dislocated shoulder, a crushed sternum and a broken shoulder blade,” she wrote.

Upon receiving the news of the charges against the two terrorists, Wilson posted on Facebook that it was “the best news I’ve had in six years.”

Kay Wilson, who survived a stabbing attack as she was hiking in the forest near Jerusalem a few months ago, sits with her dog Peanut at the site of the stabbing, April 21, 2011. Wilson's friend Kristine Luken was killed in the attack which was committed by Ayad Fatafta and Kifah Ghanimat on December 18, 2010. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

She described the emotional nature of the arrest warrants, writing, “I’m so relieved, I’m near to tears.”


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