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Entries in Kristine Luken (2)

Wednesday
Jan262011

Christian Missionary Mistaken for Jewish by Palestinian Killers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Four Palestinian men have been indicted in the stabbing death of American woman Kristine Luken, who the suspects say was killed because they thought she was Jewish.

Luken, 44, was a Christian missionary working in Israel.

Four more Palestinians, all from the West Bank, have been arrested for providing logistical support to the alleged killers, but have yet to be indicted.

Luken was stabbed to death while hiking in a forest outside Jerusalem with a friend, Kaye Susan Wilson, Dec. 17, 2010.

Israeli police tell ABC News they arrested two men who confessed to the murder within 48 hours of the attack, but kept the arrests secret because they realized that more suspects were involved, and that the group was responsible for a wave of violent crimes.

"The cell's activity had an initial criminal orientation," Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said. But after the killing of Hamas leader El Mabhouh in Dubai, for which Hamas holds Israel responsible, "the cell decides to kill in revenge for [that]," Rosenfeld said.

El Mabhouh was a senior Hamas military commander. He was assassinated Jan. 10, 2010, shortly after checking into a five-star hotel in Dubai under a fake name. No one has been arrested in the killing.

The indictment states that two suspects, Kifah Ghneimat and Iyad Fatafa, "decided to enter Israel illegally in order to kill Jews."

In a forest inside Israel but adjacent to the West Bank they encountered Luken and Wilson. Wilson "tried to convince them they were not Jewish, in order to convince them not to hurt them," according to the indictment, but one of the suspects grasped at a Star of David necklace around her neck, saying, "What's this?"

The suspects then stabbed both women repeatedly, killing Luken, according to the indictment. Wilson, badly wounded, played dead, eventually reaching another group of hikers before she collapsed and was taken to a hospital with multiple stab wounds in her chest.

The cell is accused in a string of murders, rapes, robberies and shooting attacks against the Israeli military and Jewish civilians dating back to 2009. Some of the attacks took place in the same area where they killed Luken.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec202010

US Tourist Murdered in Israel; Survivor Claims Arab Attackers

Photo Courtesy - Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Getty Images(MATA, Israel) -- The friend of an American tourist who was stabbed to death in Israel over the weekend said it was clear their attackers -- allegedly two Arab men -- undoubtedly meant to murder the pair as they were hiking.

"It all happened so fast.  They came out and attacked us," Kaye Susan Wilson told Israeli media as she recovered in an Israeli hospital after reportedly suffering 12 stab wounds Saturday while hiking in a forest near Jerusalem.  "It was clear they came to kill."

While Wilson said she was able to survive by playing dead, her friend, American Kristine Luken, 44, did not.  Luken's body was found Sunday with multiple stab wounds.  Her hands were tied behind her back.

Israeli police said they believe Wilson's account of the attack but are looking into all possibilities.

Wilson, described by Israeli media as an immigrant to Israel from the U.K., was wearing a necklace with the Star of David on it during the attack.  At one point, she said one of the attackers ripped the symbol off her neck and then stabbed her with what looked like a bread knife where it had been hanging.

"I saw that the stab had not penetrated my heart and I played dead.  While I lay there I could hear my friend dying.  Her breath sounded like bubbles," Wilson told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.  "I waited two minutes, we lay in the corridor.  Our hands tied behind our backs and something was covering my mouth.  It was terribly hard for me to get up but I managed to go.  I saw that we were in a bush area and I did not know then that they had fled.  I felt myself getting tired, all I wanted to do was sleep but I knew I could not."

Eventually, Wilson said she was able to stumble to a parking lot where she was spotted by passersby who called police.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio