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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

Israel charges teen with terror murder of Palestinian woman

The 16-year-old was accused of being motivated by 'racism and hostility towards Arabs everywhere'

Pelstainians carry the body of Aisha Rabi, 48, during her funeral in the West Bank village of Biddya, Saturday, October 13, 2018. AP
Pelstainians carry the body of Aisha Rabi, 48, during her funeral in the West Bank village of Biddya, Saturday, October 13, 2018. AP

Israel has charged a teenage settler with the murder of a Palestinian woman who was killed when a rock thrown at her car hit her in the head.

Aisha Rabi, a 47-year-old Palestinian mother of eight, was killed on October 12 when the suspect and several other students travelled to a hilltop where he grabbed a large two-kilogramme stone with the aim of throwing it at a Palestinian vehicle. He identified Ms Rabi's car by its Palestinian licence plates. Her car, also carrying her husband and nine-year-old daughter, was travelling at 60 miles per hour.

An Israeli court indicted the 16-year-old, who lived in the central occupied West Bank at an illegal Israeli settlement, with manslaughter, aggravated stone throwing at a moving vehicle and intentional sabotage of a vehicle, according to local media reports.

Manslaughter carries a possible 20-year jail sentence in Israel and is often imposed instead of a murder charge where premeditation cannot be proven. The 16-year-old defendant was further accused by prosecutors of an anti-Arab "terrorist motive", which could empower the court to impose a harsher sentence if he is convicted.

The defendant attended a seminary in Rehelim, a Jewish settlement near the Palestinian city of Nablus, in the West Bank, Israel's Shin Bet domestic intelligence service said.

The Israeli-occupied West Bank sees frequent friction between Palestinians, who seek the territory for a future state, and Israels settlers, some of whom identify with radical Jewish groups.

Israeli officials say Jewish militant attacks are hard to crack because the suspects keep to small and secretive networks and train in resisting Shin Bet interrogation. Palestinians say Israel is slow to act on anti-Arab violence by its own citizens.

The murder represents the most serious act of Jewish terrorism since the firebombing of the Duwabshe family in the West Bank in 2015 that left several members of the Palestinian family dead.

Updated: January 24, 2019 07:17 PM

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