Four Charged in Murder of U.S. Tourist in Israel

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JERUSALEM -- Israeli police arrested four Palestinian terrorists on Wednesday for the murder of an American Christian tourist. The murder took place last month outside of Jerusalem.

The four members of an eight-man cell appeared before a Jerusalem court and were charged with the murder of Kristine Luken in December. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said some arrests were made within 48 hours of the murder.

"There were four main suspects behind the killings themselves," Rosenfeld. "They both planned the killings, where they would take place. They both drove around the area inside the forest and they planned exactly the area where they were exactly going to dump her body after that."

Luken was hiking in the hills outside Jerusalem with her friend Kaye Wilson when the two of them were assaulted.

Wilson was wounded and managed to escape by playing dead but Luken was dragged away and murdered.

Police said the Palestinians -- all from the Hebron area -- had been involved in 21 crimes since 1997 including the murder of another woman in 2010. According to police, last year the group decided to nationalistic terror attacks.

Mike Decker, the family's attorney said the family is still looking for answers.

"They would like to know what happened on that tragic day when their daughter was murdered in a vicious terror attack," Decker said.

Luken worked for a Christian ministry based in England and friends remember her as a dedicated Christian.

"Kristine was a woman who had a very infectious love for God," said David Pillegi, Rector of Christ Church in Jerusalem. "When you were around Kristine you couldn't help to love the Lord more. It's very simply our prayer for this great tragedy that even though it was meant for evil, that God will use this in a redemptive way."

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Chris Mitchell

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