UN Envoy Condemns Attack That Killed Palestinian Woman, Calls for Swift Justice

Police opened an investigation, suspect settlers behind attack. Nickolay Mladenov calls on Israeli authorities to ensure a proper investigation into the matter

Palestinians carry the body of Aisha Rabi during her funeral in the West Bank village of Biddya, October 13, 2018.
Majdi Mohammed/AP Photo

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov, condemned the incident in which a Palestinian woman was killed when a stone, supposedly thrown by settlers, struck her in the head.

"I urge all to condemn violence and stand up to terrorism,” he said. In an official statement issued Sunday, Mladenov wrote, "Such attacks only seek to drag everyone into a new cycle of violence that would further undermine the prospects of peace between Palestinians and Israelis."

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Aisha Mohammed Rabi, 47, was killed late Friday night when settlers threw stones at her car near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nablus. The mother of seven was buried in Biddya, where she lived in the West Bank on Saturday.

"I take note that an investigation has been initiated and call on the Israeli authorities to ensure that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice," Mladenov went on to write.

The European Union also released a statement in response to the event, saying it – along with the recent killing of three Israeli civilians – should be investigated. 

"The cycle of violence leads only to more violence and deprives entire generations from the legitimate aspiration to live in peace and free to build their own future. Only a political solution can put an end to the violence," Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, wrote.

The Judea and Samaria District police confirmed that they have opened an investigation into the matter.

Police suspect that the incident was a deliberate act by settlers. The division within the Judea and Samaria District Police that handles far-right activity has been tasked with investigating, with involvement by the Shin Bet security service.

"I don’t have any doubt it was the settlers," Yacoub Rabi told Haaretz on Saturday. "There were six or seven of them, and it was clear that they were young. In such a place and time, no young Palestinian would dare stand there. The Za'atara area [in the West Bank] is always surrounded by a military force, and so it's clear that the settlers did it."

When asked if he expected the Israeli authorities to arrest the attackers, he responded: "You ask the authorities that question. They ought to know."