The Day In Israel: Sun Dec 19th, 2010
The body of a female US tourist was found this morning, after an IDF search all night prompted by her friend’s escape from what she described as Arab attackers.
The body of Christine Logan, who went missing in the Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem area, was found early Sunday morning after police and IDF searched all Saturday night, fearing she was kidnapped in a nationalistically motivated incident.
The search, which was joined by volunteers, was launched after another woman, Kaye Susan Wilson, was found with her hands bound and several stab wounds in her chest and back, reported being attacked by two Arab men in a forest near Mata, located outside Jerusalem, within the Green Line. Logan’s body was found on the road between Mata and Beit Shemesh.
Police have launched a homicide investigation.
On Saturday, Wilson said she escaped her attackers and managed to reach Mata, where she met two families in a park. They contacted emergency services.
Wilson, 46, a tour guide, made aliya from Great Britain in 1991, and lives in Givat Zeev. Her missing friend is American.
Her stab wounds were superficial and she did not lose a lot of blood, accordingto a spokesman at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem. She suffered moderate-to-light injuries, and was treated in the trauma unit.
The spokesman refused to give any more details, saying the case was in police hands, and declined to let doctors speak to the press.
Kaye remained conscious on the way to the hospital, Magen David Adom paramedics said.
“She described being attacked, tied up and stabbed by two Arab men,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“She did not know who they were, or what the reason for the attack was. We are examining whether this is a nationalistic stabbing, but other directions are being looked at as well,” Rosenfeld said.
Security forces were highly concerned for Logan’s safety. The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) became involved in the search and the investigation as concern mounted on Saturday night.
Police sealed off Route 375 near Mata in both directions, erected roadblocks in the Jerusalem area, and scrambled helicopters to assist in the search.
Jerusalem district police chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco told reporters during a press briefing in the area that searchers were being guided by descriptions of Logan given by the stabbing victim.
Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen traveled to a mobile command and control center set up by Jerusalem police to coordinate operations.
The IDF dispatched additional forces to help comb the area.
This occurred a few kilometers down the road from me.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
5:10PM: Our latest diabolical plot!
4:26PM: I have it on good authority that the murdered woman and her injured friend were committed Christians. I assumed Christine Logan was not Jewish, but was unsure about Kaye Wilson.
1:25PM: Israel’s relationship with Washington may have deteriorated in recent months, but it is good to see another Washington who seems to like it here.
12:30PM: More on yesterday’s murder.
Israeli police said the body of a female tourist who they feared was kidnapped by Arab assailants while hiking with a friend outside Jerusalem was found Sunday morning.
The woman has been identified as Christine Logan. Her identity has been given alternatively as British and American. Ynet has learned that her body was found in a wooded area, between bushes, a few hundred meters from the road connecting Beit Shemesh and Moshav Mata. Police suspect she was carried to the bushes by the assailant or assailants.
Logan’s friend, identified as Kaye Susan Wilson, a 46-year-old tour guide, was also found bound with her hands behind her back Saturday in a mountainous area outside Jerusalem, bleeding from multiple stab wounds. She was hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital critical condition. On Sunday hospital officials said she had regained consciousness and that her condition has stabilized.
Speaking to Ynet Sunday morning, Wilson, not yet aware of her friend’s death, recounted the incident. “Christine and I walked down a path in order to climb a small hill. We sat there, and two Arabs passed by and asked ‘Do you have any water?’ I said, ‘I wish.’ I felt something was wrong. I turned to (Christine) in English and told her something doesn’t feel right and that we should return to the path.
“I pulled out a small knife from my pocket – a women’s knife – and we began heading back. I saw that they (Arabs) weren’t around, and I told her, ‘Wait a second, I’ll check to see where we are.’ Suddenly I heard a noise. It happened so quickly – they came and attacked us. One of them pulled out a very long knife – like a bread knife with a sharpened edge,” Wilson added.
“I was very scared, but my friend became hysterical. I told her to be quiet, but she told them, ‘Take the money, take everything,’ and they took everything. One of them took the Star of David necklace off my neck like a gentleman, and then they stabbed me 12 times. They came to kill. Nobody walks around with a knife like that for no reason. He stabbed me, but I sensed the knife did not penetrate my heart. I pretended to be dead; I thought they were waiting for someone else to come so I waited a few minutes and then threw myself onto a slope, my hands tied behind my back, and there was something covering my mouth,” Wilson recalled
“I found myself between the bushes, and I didn’t know if they had left already. I just wanted to sleep and felt as though I were about to collapse, but I knew I could not fall asleep. I managed to walk away and made my way to a parking lot, where a strange thing happened. An Israeli vehicle arrived and parked 10 meters from me. (The driver) was looking straight at me, but I couldn’t yell so he continued driving. I had to walk another 20 meters, then I saw children; I turned around so they would see that my hands were tied, and they called the police.”
A massive manhunt for Logan was launched after Wilson was discovered. Hundreds of police officers and volunteers, accompanied by soldiers from special IDF units, searched every cave and pit in the area.
During the overnight search, a police official told Ynet, “It doesn’t look good. The woman has been missing since 4:30 pm and is feared dead. If she were fine we would have found her by now.”
During the search the army set up roadblocks and inspected vehicles travelling to the West Bank. Choppers and a number of drones also assisted in the search.
No arrests have been made as of yet. “So far we have searched a number of areas. The first was near the injured woman’s car, where blood stains, hairs and signs of a struggle were found. Unfortunately, these signs could not lead us to the assailants’ possible escape route,” a senior Border Guard officer said.
“The woman (Wilson) was agitated and had trouble speaking, and refused to tell us anything beyond her first name,” one eyewitness from the town of Mata, who summoned rescue forces, told Ynet.
“Her clothes were dirty and showed signs of a struggle.”
Meanwhile, the police won’t rule out the possibility of this being a terrorist attack.
12:20PM: The indispensible Palestine Media Watch is under attack.
10:00AM: Nice one, Ynet.
It’s bad enough that you’ve reported on this BDS flashmob over a day after I did (and I suspect you’ve ripped it off from the blogosphere, whether it be my blog or another). But you’ve also claimed it occurred on Saturday, a day after I posted it? That makes me on hell of a prophet.