16-year-old Jewish Terror Suspect Charged Over Killing of Palestinian Woman

'The suspect held the rock with the aim of harming Arabs. He forcefully and directly hit Aisha Mohammed Rabi's head, all in front of her family' ■ Jewish minor's DNA found on rock that killed 47-year-old Aisha Mohammed Rabi

Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg
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Demonstrators protest the arrest of yeshiva students in relation to the murder of Aisha Rabi, Jerusalem, January 2019
Demonstrators protest the arrest of yeshiva students in relation to the murder of Aisha Rabi, Jerusalem, January 2019Credit: Emil Salman
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

The 16-year-old Jewish minor suspected in the October murder of a Palestinian woman in the West Bank was formally charged with manslaughter on Thursday. The charges come one day after a court was told that the DNA the Jewish minor was found on the rock that hit her car and caused her death.

According to the indictment, the suspect and other yeshiva students stood on a hill nearby Route 60 in the central West Bank on October 12. The suspect "held a rock weighing close to two kilograms, with the intention of using it to harm Arab car passengers, based out of an ideological motive of racism and hostility toward Arabs everywhere."

Bradley Burston describes his visit to the West Bank with settler leader Daniella WeissCredit: Haaretz

The suspect threw the rock when he noticed a vehicle with Palestinian license plate, according to the indictment. Rabi, her husband and their nine-year-old daughter were driving at a speed of close to 100 kilometers-per-hour. "As the car approached in high speed, the suspect threw the rock forcefully and direcrlty at the windshield, with the aim of harming the car's passengers and with disregard for the possibility of causing their death."

The rock smashed the windshield, and according to the indictment "directly and forcefully struck Rabi's head, all in front of her family."

Aisha Mohammed Rabi (left); her funeral in Biddya, Oct. 13, 2018. Credit: AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

No additional indictments in the case are expected, according to sources close to the investigation.

The teen was arrested in late December on suspicion of a racially motivated murder of 47-year-old Aisha Mohammed Rabi. A gag order imposed on the case prevents the publication of the suspect's name and age, as well as those of four other suspects arrested in early January and released almost a week later, all Israeli settlers.

Last week, prosecutors had announced that the state intended to indict the teen within five days, but when that period ended, both sides informed the court that the teen had changed his mind and wished to give his own version of events.

>> Read more: Their pretense is over. The settler leadership is a violent, lawless, racist gang of vigilantesSevere punishment for Palestinians, but it's not the same stone when Jews throw it

“The prosecutor’s office, together with the Israel Police, has operated in the fairest manner and despite the fact that the minor refrained from giving his version of events throughout all of his interrogations, allowed him to have another interrogation…,” the judge wrote.

“The minor provided a version of events that ostensibly can provide a certain explanation for the main evidence collected in the case, the DNA findings on the rock that caused the death of the deceased.”

The judge also wrote that he initially felt that the minor’s version of events could “open a significant gap in the alleged evidentiary basis that would justify rejecting the state’s request, and releasing the minor under very restrictive conditions.”

But then he concluded that “after studying the response of [the state] together with all of the documentation, I find that at present there is no substantial change regarding the question of the existence of the necessary evidentiary basis for this stage of the proceeding.”

Rabi died in October after stones were thrown at her vehicle near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nablus. A mother of eight, she was reportedly struck in the head with a stone and died shortly after. Her husband was lightly wounded in the incident.

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