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.

Background[edit]

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]

Kidnapping and 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]

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]

Burial[edit]

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]

Aftermath[edit]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eliyahu Pinhas Asheri". mfa.gov. 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 "Militants threaten to kill abducted settler - Africa & Middle East - International Herald Tribune". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "PRC: Leave Gaza or we’ll kill kidnapped settler teen". ynet. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  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. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Second kidnapping increasingly likely, but not confirmed". Haaretz.com. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Militant: Israeli soldier in ‘secure place’ - World news - Mideast/N. Africa - NBC News". msnbc.com. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Militants threaten to 'butcher' Australian's son". Theage.com.au. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Palestinians: We kidnapped settler in West Bank". ynet. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Salah Addin Brigades: the battle of kidnapping soldiers has begun
    | Maan News Agency
  13. ^ "USATODAY.com - Militants threaten to kill Jewish settler". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Israel Continues Gaza Assault as Palestinians Seek Prisoner Exchange". Fox News. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Palestinian resistance kidnapped a settler". Imemc.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Slaying Of An Israeli Settler And The Arrest Of Hamas Officials Tighten Tensions In The Middle East". CityNews. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Independent Newspapers Online. "Kidnapped Jewish settler found dead". Independent Online. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "‫חדשות: הנער אליהו אשרי נחטף ונרצח.... - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "ynet אליהו אשרי נרצח; גופתו אותרה ברמאללה - חדשות". ynet. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Body found in Ramallah believed to be settler teen’s". ynet. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  21. ^ a b c "Thousands gather to mourn teenage terror victim Eliyahu Asheri". Haaretz.com. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Israelsk bosetter funnet drept på Vestbredden". adressa.no. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "Migrant's kidnapped son found executed". Theage.com.au. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  24. ^ Conal Urquhart. "Militants hold second Israeli hostage". the Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "Abductors present Eliyahu Asheri's ID card". ynet. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "Eliyahu Pinhas Asheri". GxMSDev. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  27. ^ a b John Pike. "Operation Summer Rains". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  28. ^ a b "Asheri murderers surrender". Israeltoday.co.il. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  29. ^ "Time Ticking On Deadline In Mideast". Cbsnews.com. 3 July 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  30. ^ "Arrests over killing of Australian's son". Theage.com.au. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  31. ^ "News1 - צה"ל עצר את רוצחי הנער אשרי". News1.co.il. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  32. ^ "Olmert's Gestures Underway: Terrorists to Jordan, Money to PA". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 

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