Jewish minor to be charged over stoning to death of Palestinian woman

Jewish minor to be charged over stoning to death of Palestinian woman
The fifth suspect being held in custody would be charged over the attack "in the next few days", Israeli police said in a statement.

3 min read
15 January, 2019
The 48-year-old mother was stoned to death by a suspected Jewish minor [Getty]
A Jewish minor is to be charged in connection with the killing of a Palestinian woman who was stoned to death in the occupied West Bank last year, Israeli police said on Tuesday.

Five pupils from the Pri Haaretz religious seminary in the Rechelim settlement in the West Bank were arrested last month, four of whom were released to house arrest.

The fifth suspect being held in custody would be charged over the attack "in the next few days", police said in a statement.

The suspect is accused of killing Aisha Rabi, 48, who died after stones were thrown at the car she was travelling in with her family on October 12.

Rabi, a mother of nine, was killed near Rechelim which lies close to her village of Bidiya in the northern West Bank.

She died after suffering a head injury, while her husband escaped with minor injuries.

Israeli investigations into "Jewish terrorism" - as such cases are often referred to by Israeli media - are highly sensitive.

Rights activists have accused Israeli authorities of dragging their feet in such probes compared with those into Palestinian attacks, while far-right Israelis say suspects have undergone coercement and torture.

Nearly 450,000 Jewish settlers live in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, which is also home to more than 2.5 million Palestinians.

Settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank is routine, with the UN reporting over 220 incidents of assault or damage to property in 2018.

Over 90 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians regarding settler violence are closed by Israeli authorities without an indictment.

Stone-throwing incidents implicating Israeli settlers have risen of late, according to Palestinian security sources.

Earlier this month, the UN condemned the throwing of stones at the Palestinian prime minister on Christmas Day, allegedly by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, calling it "absolutely unacceptable".

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy was hit with a number of stones on 25 December as he was returning home from attending Christmas Eve mass in Bethlehem, a Palestinian government spokesman said.

Two of Hamadallah's bodyguards were injured, the spokesman said in a statement on Thursday.

The incident was not immediately reported but the government statement said the stones were thrown by Israeli settlers.

Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, called for those responsible for the "absolutely unacceptable" incident to be brought to justice.

"The stoning attack on Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah's convoy on Christmas is a very worrying incident," Mladenov said in a statement.

"Stones can kill," he said. "Such violence must stop immediately."

The incident occurred close to where Rabi was killed south of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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