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Israeli Arab confesses to killing Jewish couple, says he acted alone

JERUSALEM, Sept. 2 (JTA) – An Israeli Arab from the Galilee has been arrested in the double murder of an Israeli couple near Megiddo earlier this week. Police on Thursday lifted a ban on disclosing details of the case, identifying the suspect as Abdallah Salakh Agbariyeh, 20, of the village of Musheirifa, located not far from the site of the murders. According to police, Agbariyeh confessed to stabbing to death Sharon Steinmetz, 21, and her boyfriend Yehiel-Shai Feinfeter, 26. Agbariyeh told police investigators he acted alone and had intended to murder Jews. Re-enacting the murders at the Megiddo reserve, a popular hiking spot in northern Israel, Agbariyeh told police investigators how he stabbed Feinfeter, then hit Steinmetz on the head with a rock and stabbed her as well. He said he dragged their bodies toward a stream bed and then escaped in their car, later abandoning it. Agbariyeh denied any involvement in a terrorist group, but said he chose his victims because they were Jews. He said he planned out the stabbing and laid an ambush for the hikers. Despite the confession, police were still investigating whether the suspect had accomplices, or if he had received instructions or training from any other group. News reports noted that Agbariyeh lived in the same Galilee village as the attackers responsible for the 1992 murders of three Israeli soldiers at a basic training camp.