Israel arrests Jewish students suspected of killing Palestinian woman

Israel arrests Jewish students suspected of killing Palestinian woman Aisha al-Rabi
2 min read
06 January, 2019
Israeli investigations into "Jewish terrorism" -- as such cases are often referred to by Israeli media -- are highly sensitive.

Aisha al-Rawbi (L) suffered a fatal head wound from a rock thrown at her [Twitter]

Israel's Shin Bet security service says five Jewish minors have been arrested for their suspected involvement in the killing of a Palestinian woman.

The agency partially lifted the gag order on the case Sunday, saying the youths were seminary students suspected of hurling the rocks that killed 48-year-old Aisha Rabi in October.

The mother of eight was traveling toward her West Bank home in a car with her husband and two daughters when she was struck in the head. The incident took place near several ultranationalist Jewish settlements. Rabi's husband said he saw a small group of settlers nearby at the time of the attack.

Her death came shortly after a Palestinian assailant killed two Israelis in a nearby settlement, raising the possibility of a revenge attack.

The detainees "are suspected of grave terrorist offenses including murder", the Shin Bet service said in a statement after the court order limiting media coverage of the Dec. 30 arrests was lifted.

Aisha al-Rawbi, 47, suffered a fatal head wound from a rock thrown at her car near the Palestinian city of Nablus on Oct. 12.

The arrests had led to mounting speculation in the Israeli media, but authorities had refused to comment, citing a gag order on details of the case while the investigation continued.

There was also a protest of several hundred people on Saturday night outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's residence over the detention of the Jewish minors.

The Shin Bet did not give the number or ages of suspects held, but said they were members of a Jewish seminary in Rechalim.

Their parents and lawyers have been protesting since the arrests over what they said was their sons' detention in an undisclosed location without access to lawyers.

Israeli investigations into "Jewish terrorism" -- as such cases are often referred to by Israeli media -- are highly sensitive.

Israeli authorities have been accused by rights activists of dragging their feet in such cases in comparison to investigations into Palestinian attacks, while far-right Israelis say suspects have undergone coercement and torture.