Israeli Court Rejects Appeal by Jewish Minor Suspected of Killing Palestinian Woman

The minor to be held in custody until Tuesday, is one out of five settlers suspected of killing 47-year-old Aisha Mohammed Rabi in October

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

An Israeli district court rejected an appeal by a Jewish minor suspected of involvement in the October murder of a Palestinian woman in the West Bank, and ordered to have him kept in custody.

Deliberations were held behind closed doors due to a gag-order imposed on the case and suspect's age. He is to be remanded at least until Tuesday, as determined last week when his arrest was extended.

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The minor is one out of five settlers suspected of killing 47-year-old Aisha Mohammed Rabi, who was driving with her husband near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nablus when a group of settlers allegedly threw stones at their car.

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Rabi, a mother of eight, was reportedly struck in the head with a stone and died shortly after. Her husband was lightly wounded.

The court convened Sunday morning after the suspect's attorneys appealed the decision to keep him in custody last Thursday. Initially, the minor's legal team asked the Supreme Court to order the Lod District Court to advance deliberations. It did not, but a recommendation was made in light of the suspect's age.

A session was scheduled for Friday as a result, but security forces failed to bring the suspect before the court. His legal team refused to deliberate without him present, and so the session was postponed to Sunday.

The minor is the only one of five suspects – all students of the "Pri Ha'aretz" yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Rehelim – to still be held in police custody, as the other four were released to house arrest last week.

In his ruling, the judge said that in the case of the fifth suspect, there was no appropriate alternative to his incarceration due to the nature of the allegations and concern over obstruction of justice.

The suspect's attorneys said the information published from the ruling does not necessarily reflect it in full, and claimed their client remained in custody pending a specialist's opinion commissioned by the case's investigators.