Remand of prime suspect in murder of Palestinian woman extended again
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Remand of prime suspect in murder of Palestinian woman extended again

Israeli minor’s attorney predicts ‘dramatic’ development to take place in Aisha Rabi case after suspect breaks silence; last week, prosecution vowed indictment in ‘coming days’

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

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)
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 remand of a Jewish teen, the prime suspect in the killing of a Palestinian woman, was extended Sunday by an additional four days.

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court accepted the police’s request for more time to complete their investigation into the death of Aisha Rabi, who was struck in the head with a large stone while driving with her husband and daughter in the northern West Bank on October 12.

Adi Keidar, the attorney representing the suspect, said the decision to extend the teen’s remand had been made in agreement with his defense team.

According to Keidar, the teen recently decided to break the silence he had been maintaining since his arrest nearly three weeks ago and provided Shin Bet and police interrogators with his version of events from the night of Rabi’s killing.

Adi Keidar, July 13, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Investigators will now take the next four days to look into the teen’s claims and Keidar predicted that this would lead to a “dramatic” development in the case. The lawyer did not rule out the possibility that his client would be released on Wednesday when his remand is slated to expire.

Last week, state prosecutors informed the court that they intended to indict the youth suspected of involvement in the killing of the 47-year-old mother of eight “in the coming days.”

A Justice Ministry official told The Times of Israel that the state is planning to charge the suspect with manslaughter, a crime whose maximum sentence is 20 years behind bars.

The minor was arrested on December 30 along with two other students from the Pri Haaretz yeshiva high school in the northern West Bank settlement of Rehelim. A week later, two more boys from the same boarding school were arrested. The other four have since been released to house arrest.

A suspect in the murder of Aisha Rabi is embraced by a supporter outside the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court after being released to house arrest on January 10, 2019. (Flash90)

Earlier this month, the Shin Bet security service, which is running the investigation along with the police’s nationalistic crime unit, partially lifted a gag order on the case and announced that the five boys were suspected of involvement in the killing of Rabi.

The 47-year-old Palestinian mother of eight was fatally struck on the head by a rock while driving in a car with her husband and daughter near the northern West Bank’s Tapuah Junciton on October 12.

The teens are suspected of “terror offenses, including murder,” the Shin Bet said.

The Pri Haaretz Yeshiva in the Rehelim settlement on January 8, 2019. (Ofer Meir/Flash90)

The prime suspect’s father has said his son was innocent and that the Shin Bet was violently interrogating him.

He claimed the teen had been at a Shabbat meal with dozens of other Pri Haaretz students when the attack took place.

The Shin Bet has come under fire from far-right activists and some lawmakers over the minors’ extended detention, and has vigorously denied accusations of torture.

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