Two Israeli Arabs Indicted in Fatal Stabbing of Teenage Girl

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First responders in the killing of Yara Ayoub in Jish in November 2018.
First responders in the killing of Yara Ayoub in Jish in November 2018.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

Two male residents of the Galilee village of Jish, a 29-year-old and a 17-year-old, were indicted Thursday for the November murder of Yara Ayoub,
a 16-year-old resident of the village.

According to the indictment, the two fatally stabbed the girl with a knife and threw her body into a nearby trash receptacle.  

The older suspect has been identified as Mohammed Abu Zeinab, who is said to have known Ayoub. According to the prosecution, he “gave [her] hundreds of shekels in cash” each time they met, according to details released for publication.

Yara AyoubCredit: Police Spokesman's Office

Zeinab “became fed up with the situation and made up his mind to kill” Ayoub, the prosecution says.

Ayoub’s family notified the police that she had gone missing after she left home to buy a birthday present for a friend and never returned. Police investigators learned that she had spoken to Abu Zeinab before her disappearance.

Mohammed Abu Zeinab, center, in Nazareth District Court, January 10, 2019.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

The prosecution alleges that, in an attempt to create an alibi, Abu Zeinab was in the West Bank town of Ramallah when the police report was filed. He was arrested and questioned on his return to the Galilee a day later, initially on suspicion that he had abducted Ayoub.

The police searched garbage cans and dumpsters in the village and discovered Ayoub’s body. According to the prosecution, they found other evidence at a bakery where Abu Zeinab worked.

During the investigation, they learned that the juvenile defendant in the case had allegedly been present at the scene of the killing. After implicating himself through his presence at the crime scene, he stopped cooperating with investigators, the prosecution said.

The killing was meticulously planned in advance and Abu Zeinab sought the juvenile defendant's assistance, prosecutors say. The two are said to have killed Ayoub at the bakery before throwing her body in the garbage.

Relatives of Abu Zeinab have also been arrested, on suspicion of helping him clean up the murder scene. The prosecutor’s office said no decision had been made on any criminal charges against the relatives.

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