American tourist stabbed to death near Jerusalem

Israeli police found the body of a female American tourist, with multiple stab wounds and her hands bound behind her back, in a forest outside Jerusalem today in what authorities believe was a politically-motivated attack by two Arab men.

A friend of the murdered woman survived, despite being knifed several times, and said the assailants at one point carefully removed her Star of David necklace and then stabbed her in the place it had rested on her chest.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld identified the murdered woman as Christine Logan. He said she was American and 40 years old but did not have her hometown.

The friend, Kaye Susan Wilson, a naturalised Israeli citizen originally from Britain, had been taken to hospital with light wounds, officials said.

With a massive manhunt under way for the assailants, Mr Rosenfeld said: "The main lead line is that the attack was nationalistic, but we haven't ruled out the possibility that it was criminal."

Police said there were no signs that Ms Wilson had been sexually assaulted or robbed.

Ms Wilson told Israeli media that two Arab men approached her and Ms Logan as they rested during a hike in the hills outside Jerusalem.

She said the men asked them for water, and then she and her friend walked away. Thinking the men had left, the women headed back to the main trail when suddenly they were attacked.

"It all happened so fast. They came and attacked us," Ms Wilson, 46, told reporters.

She said one of the men took out a knife that looked "like a bread knife with a serrated edge." Ms Logan then "became hysterical" and the men began to stab them, Ms Wilson said.

"It was clear that they came to kill," she added. "Who carries around a knife like that?"

At one point, Ms Wilson said one of the assailants gently took a Star of David chain off her neck, "then turned me around and stabbed in the place where the Star of David had been."

Ms Wilson said she pretended to be dead, even as she could hear her friend dying. She said she waited for two minutes, then made her way back to a car park lot several hundred yards away where she found help.

Hospital staff cut off the interview after about five minutes and refused to make her available for further comment.

After Ms Wilson reported the incident, police and paramedics launched a large-scale hunt and located Ms Logan's body early today buried under some bushes, about 20 yards from where the attack was believed to have occurred. The site is inside Israel, not far from the frontier with the West Bank.

Israeli police raided a hospital outside the nearby West Bank town of Bethlehem in search of suspects, believing the assailants might have been injured in the struggle.

"I saw there were ... jeeps and lots of soldiers surrounding the hospital," said Edmund Shehadeh, director of the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation.

He said the troops wanted a list of patients and interviewed some doctors and nurses during the half-hour investigation. But by nightfall, no arrests had been made.

There was no claim of responsibility, which Palestinian militants usually make after deadly attacks. That suggested that the attack, even if politically motivated, was not planned by a militant group.

Police spokeswoman Mr Rosenfeld said he did not have Ms Logan's hometown. The US Embassy said it had no information on the case, but said it was in touch with Israeli authorities.

The killing occurred just ahead of Christmas - a peak tourist season for Israel and the Palestinians. Israel's Tourism Ministry declined to comment.

Dr Yuval Weiss, director of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, told Army Radio he expected Ms Wilson to be released within several days.

This would not be the first time that hikers were attacked and killed.

In the 1990s, four Israeli hikers were killed in two separate attacks in the West Bank.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
science
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before