Two Palestinians confessed on Sunday to the brutal murder of IDF reserve Col. Sraya Ofer outside his home in the Jordan Valley overnight Thursday, in a suspected terrorist attack, according to media reports.
Another person in the house at the time, who was injured in the attack but escaped, told police that when Ofer went to investigate noises outside, he was set upon and killed by two men wielding an ax and iron bars.
Security forces subsequently arrested three residents of the Palestinian village of Deir Samat, located near Chevron.
The Shin Bet said that Odeh Farid Taleb Harob, 18, and Bashir Achmed Odeh Harob, 21, said they had been at the victim’s house two weeks ago, and admitted to having committed the murder.
As of Sunday night, the investigation was continuing, and police have not ruled out the possibility the killing was criminally, not politically, motivated.
The murder touched off fresh calls for a suspension of the peace talks.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) urged Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “to immediately cease diplomatic negotiations” with the Palestinians.
Zeev Elkin, the deputy foreign minister (Likud) said Ofer’s death meant Israel should “decide on building and strengthening Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron.”
Ofer, in his 60’s, was buried at the Kfar Vitkin cemetery on Sunday afternoon.