Israel Police are investigating the cause of death of a woman in her 50s whose body was found early Monday morning in the Reihan Forest in the Shomron. The police and Shin Bet are reportedly pursuing whether the murder might have been a terrorist attack.
The woman, Mrs. Esther Horgan, Hy”d, was a resident of Tel Menashe, a town near the forest. Her body was found on the side of the road in the forest, marked by signs of violence. Her family reported her missing on Sunday. She leaves behind, lhbch”l, her husband, Binyamin, and six children. Her youngest child celebrated his bar mitzvah just three months ago.
IDF soldiers were called to the scene alongside police after the body was found.
The Shomron Regional Council referred to the incident as a terrorist attack.
“A dear woman, so full of kindness, goes out in the afternoon in the center of the State of Israel to exercise a minute away from her home, and is murdered by vile people in such a cruel way,” said the head of the Shomron Regional Council, Yossi Dagan. “I ask, what barbarians, like in the Middle Ages, what cruelty to hack the face of a 52-year-old woman with a rock in cold blood? What evil are we facing?”
He added: “I want to say clearly to these barbarians from the Palestinian Authority in front of the whole world: You will never break us. The communities in the Shomron will flourish and grow and build together with the whole State of Israel, because you in the barbaric Palestinian Authority chose death and we chose life.”
“I am shocked and hurt by the murder of Esther Horgan,” Shas chairman Rabbi Aryeh Deri said. “My heart tore for the six orphans who entered the cruel circle of bereavement. My condolences to the family and the residents of Tel Menashe and the Shomron. The IDF and the security forces will, b’ezras Hashem, get their hands on the perpetrators of this heinous murder.”
“We start the morning with the sad news of the brutal murder of Esther Horgan, a mother of six, last night in the Shomron. It cannot be that a woman goes for a run and does not return home,” said Yerushalayim Affairs Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz. “I trust the security and police forces to lay hands on the perpetrator of this heinous crime, and I send my condolences to the grieving family.”