(JNS) Israelis woke up on Monday, Dec. 21 to the horrible news that the lifeless body of 52-year-old Esther Horgen, a mother of six from the community of Tel Menashe in Samaria, was found at around 2 a.m. in a forest near her home after she went for a power walk on Sunday afternoon and never returned. Her husband, Benjamin, alerted security officials when she didn’t make it back.
On Thursday, Dec. 23, Israel’s Shin Bet security service arrested a Palestinian suspect from the Jenin area in connection with the murder. Details of the investigation remain under a gag order.
Police are investigating the incident as a terror attack. The Samaria Regional Council said the murder was without a doubt an act of terror, saying Horgen’s skull had been crushed with police believing the weapon to have been a rock.
Friends and family gathered in Tel Menashe on Tuesday, Dec. 22 to pay their final respects to Horgen before she was laid to rest. Ora Oziel, a neighbor and close friend, told JNS that her family and the Horgens shared a Shabbat meal together last Friday night, just 48 hours before Esther went on her ill-fated jog. She said that Esther, who was a life coach, marriage counselor and specialist in Jewish psychology, “was full of life. She loved the beauty of nature and of human beings, both on their inside and outside.”
In response to the murder, a group of Israeli women encouraged women and girls from Israel and throughout the world on Wednesday night to go outside and jog/run in Horgen’s memory. Elana Abelow Kronenberg, one of the organizers of the initiative, told JNS that the point of the initiative was to demonstrate that “we do not live in fear. … It is just so tragic that Esther is no longer here, but women and girls have to continue to run for her. Terrorism will never win.”
Main Photo: Esther Hurgan, the woman killed in a suspected terror attack in the northern West Bank on Dec. 21, 2020(photo credit: ZAKA RESCUE AND RECOVERY ORGANIZATION)