Kidnapping and murder of Eliyahu Asheri

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Murder of Eliyahu Asheri
Location West Bank
Date June 25, 2006
Attack type
Kidnapping, Shooting attack
Deaths One Israeli civilian (Eliyahu Asheri)
Perpetrator Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility

The murder of Eliyahu Asheri was a terror attack which carried out on June 25, 2006, in which Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) militants kidnapped, and later murdered the 18 year-old Israeli high school student Eliyahu Asheri.[1]

The attack occurred only a few hours after the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit that led to Operation Summer Rains.


Eliyahu Asheri
Born (1988-02-02)2 February 1988
Itamar, West Bank
Disappeared June 25, 2006 (aged 18)
on his way from Beitar Illit to Neveh Tzuf
Died 25 June 2006(2006-06-25) (aged 18)
Beitunia, Palestinian territories
Cause of death
shot to death
Body discovered
29 June 2006
Nationality Israeli
Citizenship Israeli
Known for Abducted and killed by PRC militants.
Religion Judaism

Eliyahu Pinchas Asheri[2] (February 2, 1988 – June 25, 2006) was an Israeli student from the settlement of Itamar, in the northern West Bank. He was a student at the religious pre-army Mechina (preparatory program) "Elisha" in Neveh Tzuf.[3] His father Yitro Asheri, originally from Adelaide, was converted by St Kilda’s Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn in 1986. Yitro Asheri had moved from the Adelaide suburb of Glenelg to the Jewish centre of North Adelaide at the time of his conversion. About six months after his conversion he moved to Israel. He first settled in kibbutz Sde Eliyahu where he learned some Hebrew and later moved to a yeshiva headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman. The Asheri family were one of the founding members of Itamar and have lived there from 1991.[4][5]

The kidnapping and the murder[edit]

On Sunday, June 25, 2006, Eliyahu was kidnapped while on his way from Beitar Illit to Neveh Tzuf, northwest of Ramallah.[6]

On Tuesday, June 27, 2006, Eliyahu's father, Yitro Asheri, initially submitted a missing-person report about his son to the Ariel Police. According to Yitro he did not report his son's absence for two days because Eliyahu used to regularly disappear for extended periods in the past without keeping daily contact with his parents.[3][7] Asheri was last seen On 9:00 pm Sunday night, after he left the home of a friend in Betar Illit[7] and was hitchhiking near the French Hill intersection of Jerusalem by one of his classmates.[3]

Asheri's body was found on June 29th 2006 in an open field near the village of Beitunia

In addition, on Tuesday, the Palestinian militant group Popular Resistance Committees initially announced that the group has kidnapped a Jewish settler in the West Bank.[8][9]

On Wednesday, June 28, Abu Abir, the spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, stated that Asheri would be "butchered in front of TV cameras"[10] if Israel did not suspend its Operation Summer Rains into the Gaza Strip, which took place is in response to the kidnapping of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) corporal Gilad Shalit.[3][11][12][2][13][14][15] Later on that day the Popular Resistance Committees stated that Asheri was slain.[16]

Around 2:30 am on June 29, the IDF recovered the body of Asheri which had been buried in an open field near the village of Beitunia, not far from Ramallah.[17][18] Asheri's body was later transferred to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute for a forensic investigation.[19] The forensic investigation revealed that Asheri he was shot to death by a bullet to the head from close range, possibly the same day in which he was abducted.[20][20] The IDF had been led to the site by the Palestinian militant Wasam Abu Ragila, whom was a prime suspect of the murder of Asheri,[19] whom had been arrested on Wednesday by the Israeli police anti-terror unit and IDF troops and whom confessed in his investigation about his part in the kidnapping and murder of Asheri and gave specific details about the location of Asheri's body.[21][22][23]

The perpetrators[edit]

The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the attack and presented Asheri's ID card.[24][25] A Shin Bet investigation revealed that the abduction was carried out by a Tanzim terror cell connected with the PRC in Ramallah on instruction from the PRC leadership in Gaza.[26]


Three of the murderers hid in a Palestinian police station before being arrested by IDF forces. This aerial photo shows their location.

Thousands attended Asheri's funeral which was held on the same day his body was found, during the afternoon hours on the Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem.[6][21] The Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar eulogized Asheri in his funeral.[21]


On the morning hours of 4 July 2006, during a joint operation conducted by the IDF and the Israel Security Authorities, the three Tanzim militants whom murdered Eliyahu Asheri and whom were hiding in the a Palestinian Police headquarters building in Ramallah, were apprehended after a three-hour standoff.[27][27][28][29][30] The three men were Bassam Shafik Atiya Ahtiya, Khamze Salah Taktuk, and I'iam Fuab Naaef Kamamju. All three were reported to be members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and had been serving in the security forces of the Palestinian Authority.[28][31]

On 1 January 2007 Kamamju was sentenced to two life sentences for the murder of Eliyahu Asheri.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Eliyahu Pinhas Asheri". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011. "June 25, 2006 - Eliahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar was kidnapped by terrorists from the Popular Resistance Committees while hitchhiking to Neveh Tzuf, where he was studying. His body was found on June 29 in Ramallah. It is believed that he was murdered shortly after his kidnapping." 
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ a b c d,7340,L-3268098,00.html
  4. ^ "Abductors present Eliyahu Asheri's ID card". Ynetnews. June 28, 2006. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Australian's son 'executed'". The Age. June 29, 2006. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b אליהו אשרי מובא למנוחות בירושלים - וואלה! חדשות
  7. ^ a b Second kidnapping increasingly likely, but not confirmed - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Militant: Israeli soldier in ‘secure place’ - World news - Mideast/N. Africa | NBC News
  10. ^ Militants threaten to 'butcher' Australian's son - World -
  11. ^,7340,L-3267797,00.html
  12. ^ Salah Addin Brigades: the battle of kidnapping soldiers has begun
    | Maan News Agency
  13. ^ - Militants threaten to kill Jewish settler
  14. ^ Israel Continues Gaza Assault as Palestinians Seek Prisoner Exchange | Fox News
  15. ^ Palestinian resistance kidnapped a settler - International Middle East Media Center
  16. ^ The Slaying Of An Israeli Settler And The Arrest Of Hamas Officials Tighten Tensions In The Middle East (Print-Friendly Version)
  17. ^ Kidnapped Jewish settler found dead - World News | IOL News |
  18. ^ ‫חדשות: הנער אליהו אשרי נחטף ונרצח - YouTube
  19. ^ a b,7340,L-3268818,00.html
  20. ^ a b,7340,L-3268840,00.html
  21. ^ a b c Thousands gather to mourn teenage terror victim Eliyahu Asheri - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
  22. ^ Israelsk bosetter funnet drept på Vestbredden - - nyheter, sport, kultur og økonomi fra Trondheim og Trøndelag - Norges eldste avis
  23. ^ Migrant's kidnapped son found executed - World -
  24. ^ Militants hold second Israeli hostage | World news | The Guardian
  25. ^,7340,L-3268533,00.html
  26. ^ Eliyahu Pinhas Asheri
  27. ^ a b Operation Summer Rains
  28. ^ a b israel today | Israel News | Asheri murderers surrender - israel today | Israel News
  29. ^ Time Ticking On Deadline In Mideast - CBS News
  30. ^ Arrests over killing of Australian's son - World -
  31. ^ News1 | צה"ל עצר את רוצחי הנער אשרי
  32. ^ Olmert's Gestures Underway: Terrorists to Jordan, Money to PA - Defense/Middle East - News - Israel National News

External links[edit]