Israeli teenager charged with killing Palestinian woman in stone attack

Middle East
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian woman Aisha Rabi, who was killed when a stone hit her car in the occupied West Bank on 12 October Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Aisha Rabi’s husband said he believed more than one person was involved in the attack

Israel has charged a 16-year-old Jewish seminary student with the manslaughter of a Palestinian woman who died after a stone was thrown at her car in October.

Aisha Rabi, a 47-year-old mother-of-eight, was driving through the occupied West Bank when her car was targeted in what prosecutors called a terrorist act motivated by hostility towards Arabs.

She was hit in the head when the stone smashed through the car’s windshield.

The unnamed student, who denies the charge, has been remanded in custody.

Four of his classmates at the Pri Haaretz seminary in the settlement of Rehelim were detained in late December and early January, but they were subsequently released on house arrest.

Mrs Rabi was travelling in a car being driven by her husband along Route 60 near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on 12 October when it was hit by a stone weighing about 2kg (4.4lb).

The stone went through the windshield on the passenger’s side and struck Mrs Rabi in the head. Her husband rushed her to a nearby clinic but she was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

According to the indictment filed by Israeli prosecutors, the 16-year-old charged over the killing threw the stone at the car from a nearby hilltop “out of an ideological motive of racism and hostility towards Arabs everywhere”.

Israeli media reported that on Wednesday a judge had revealed that the student’s DNA was found on the stone that struck Mrs Rabi.

But a lawyer for the student, Amir Bracha, said he doubted the DNA evidence would stand up in court.

The student’s father described the indictment as an “injustice” and said he was confident his son would be acquitted.

Mrs Rabi’s husband, Yacoub, said he believed more than one person was involved in the attack and that he hoped they would be brought to justice.

“When they hit our car with stones there were more than four people,” he told AFP news agency. “I want all those who killed my wife to be tried in an international court.”

The attack on Mrs Rabi’s car came days after a Palestinian gunman killed two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank.

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