Two of the Jewish minors who were arrested on Saturday night on suspicion of involvement in the October West Bank stoning attack that killed a 47-year-old Palestinian woman, Aisha Mohammed Rabi, were permitted on Tuesday to meet their lawyers for the first time.
The lawyers said the two are suspected of being the perpetrators of the attack that killed Rabi, who driving with her husband near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nabulus when she was struck in the head by a large rock. Three other juvenile suspects, who are also thought to have carried out the attack had been permitted to meet with legal counsel on Saturday night.
Adi Keidar, a lawyer for one of the two suspects said his client, 15, described undergoing harsh interrogation under detention. "Most of the hours of the day he was shackled to a chair with his arm behind him, with short breaks for basic needs," said Keidar, who is affiliated with the Honenu legal representation organization. Keidar said his client said that the interrogators had spat on him and physically and verbally abused him during questioning.
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Honenu describes itself as an organization that defends "soldiers and civilians who find themselves in legal entanglements due to defending themselves against Arab aggression, or due to their love for Israel."
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The two suspects had first been detained last week at a demonstration in support of the three other suspects who have been arrested in the case and were arrested again Saturday night for involvement in the attack. The five suspects, all of whom are students at the Pri Haaretz yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Rehelim, will remain in detention until at least Thursday. It is not clear whether the Shin Bet Security Service will request that their detentions be extended. A court gag order barring publication of further details of the case is in effect until January 20.
The Pri Haaretz yeshiva is near the site on the incident in the northern West Bank. According to a Shin Bet statement issued Monday, the day after the attack, a group of right-wing activists came to Rehelim from the settlement of Yitzhar to brief the yeshiva students on how to handle themselves under interrogation.
In an unusual comment from the Shin Bet, the security agency added: "Various interested parties have recently expressed harsh complaints and allegations against the Shin Bet investigation in this case. The Shin Bet acts in accordance with the law to foil terrorism of any kind." The statement went on to provide a detailed rebuttal of the complaints against the agency in the case.