Israel Detains Three Relatives of Palestinian Man Stabbed to Death in West Bank

The Shin Bet security service acknowledges the arrest of the family members, but refused to say if the three are considered suspects ■ An Israeli woman is also being held on suspicion of obstructing the investigation

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Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Ali Harb, 27, during his funeral in the West Bank, on Wednesday
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Ali Harb, 27, during his funeral in the West Bank, on WednesdayCredit: Majdi Mohammed /AP

The Shin Bet arrested on Sunday three family members of the Palestinian who was stabbed to death by a Jewish Israeli man in the West Bank last week, Israel's defense establishment confirmed.

One Israeli woman, a resident of Ariel, had also been arrested, according to the NGO Honenu.

The three detainees - Naim, Firas and Ziad Harb - witnessed the fatal stabbing of Ali Hassan Harb near the settlement of Ariel last Tuesday, and gave testimony to the police over the past days. The Shin Bet acknowledged that three were arrested, but refused to say whether they are considered suspects.

Honenu, which is representing the Israeli woman, said that she was the person who organized the tour near the settlement's fence, to examine its suitability for setting up a new outpost, when the fatal stabbing occurred.

A day after the incident, Israeli Police arrested a Jewish man in connection to the stabbing, but a court has placed a gag order on the details of the investigation. Adi Keidar, a lawyer for Honenu, said that the suspect who was arrested last week was detained after he arrived at a police station in order to file a complaint against Palestinians who had attacked him.

A witness to the incident told Haaretz that while they were there, a settler stabbed and killed Harb, a resident of the village of Iskaka near Ariel, while he was attempting to prevent them from pitching a tent on his family's land.

Ramzi Harb, the victim's cousin, said that he arrived a few minutes before the incident, and that he saw a group of settlers near the fence, alongside police and military forces.

Ali Hassan Harb

Two Palestinians who had arrived at the scene with Harb – Ziad and Amjad – said that the man who stabbed him had thrown rocks at them, and tried to stab one of them before turning to Harb. They said that the assailant was an older man, wearing a black shirt, military uniform pants and a hat.

Ziad and Amjad said that they tried to approach Harb's body after he was stabbed, but an armed man in the area pointed his weapon at one of their heads. They added that the military prevented them from evacuating Harb's body for several minutes. The Israeli military said in response that "the claim that soldiers prevented a wounded person from being evacuated is incorrect."

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