Husband of Palestinian woman killed in stoning seeks justice to stop next attack
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Husband of Palestinian woman killed in stoning seeks justice to stop next attack

After Israeli minors arrested in incident, Yakoub Rabi says nothing will bring back his his wife, but killers should go to prison to deter others

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Yakoub Rabi, husband of a Aisha Rabi, a Palestinian woman who was killed in a roadside stoning in October, 2018 (Channel 10 screen capture)
Yakoub Rabi, husband of a Aisha Rabi, a Palestinian woman who was killed in a roadside stoning in October, 2018 (Channel 10 screen capture)

The husband of a Palestinian woman who was killed in a roadside stoning last year said on Sunday that while nothing would bring her back, he hoped his wife’s killers will go to prison, since only justice would deter future attacks.

Yakoub Rabi, 52, made the comments after the Shin Bet security service said it had arrested several Jewish minors over the past week on suspicion of involvement in the killing of his wife, Aisha.

“I hope those who killed my wife will go to prison,” Yakoub told The Times of Israel. “It is important that they go there because others who want to carry out similar crimes need to know they will pay a heavy price. I don’t want to see anyone else have to endure what my family has endured.”

In a Hadashot TV interview, he elaborated, “It won’t bring her back. But I would like (the killers) to be arrested (and jailed), so there is justice, so something like this doesn’t happen again.”

On a Friday evening in mid-October, Aisha was killed near the Tapuah junction in the northern West Bank after a rock blew through the windshield of the car she was traveling in with her husband and daughter and hit her in the head. She was 47 and a mother of eight children.

The Shin Bet said the teens it arrested are suspected of “terror offenses, including murder” and are students at the Pri Haaretz yeshiva high school in Rehelim, a settlement in the northern West Bank.

A car belonging to a Palestinian couple is seen after it was involved in a deadly crash reportedly due to stone-throwing by Israeli settlers at the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank on October 12, 2018. (Zachariah Sadeh/Rabbis for Human Rights); Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi (Courtesy)

The Shin Bet also said that on the Saturday morning after the stoning, a group of far-right activists from the settlement of Yitzhar drove to the yeshiva — violating religious laws that prohibit driving on Shabbat — in order to coach students they suspected were involved in the incident in how to withstand Shin Bet interrogations.

Yakoub told The Times of Israel that sending his wife’s killers to prison would not alleviate his grief.

“The truth is the arrests and legal proceedings won’t make a major difference to me,” he said. “They won’t bring my wife back. They won’t bring the mother of my children back. Nothing can be done to bring her back.”

Aisha and Yakoub Rabi and their daughters (Courtesy)

Yakoub, who speaks Hebrew, lives in Biddya, a village in the northern West Bank, and works in Elad, a city in central Israel, as a contractor. He said he has been working in Israel since the early 1980s.

Yakoub said his eight-year-old daughter Rama, who witnessed her mother’s death, was still shaken by the attack.

“She has been going to a psychologist, which has helped,” he said. “But she is still very traumatized by what took place and won’t even enter my and her mom’s bedroom. She also often cries out for her mom.”

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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