Growing Shin Bet conviction that Jews threw rock that killed Palestinian woman
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Growing Shin Bet conviction that Jews threw rock that killed Palestinian woman

Hours after Aisha Rabi was murdered, far-right activists drove on Sabbath to West Bank yeshiva and coached students on how to endure Shin Bet interrogations, defense official says

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 security establishment suspects that just hours after a Palestinian woman was killed by a rock hurled through her windshield last month, several far-right Israeli activists drove to a yeshiva in the northern West Bank, on the Sabbath, in order to coach students they suspected were involved in the incident on how to withstand Shin Bet interrogations.

A defense official confirmed to The Times of Israel a report on the Kan public broadcaster Thursday, saying the increasingly solidifying conclusion among investigators in the Shin Bet security agency and the police’s nationalistic crime unit is that Aisha Rabi was killed in a terror attack perpetrated by Israelis.

The defense official said that the far-right activists who made the drive are figures known to the Shin Bet, and have undergone extensive interrogations at the hands of the agency’s operatives. The activists spoke to a number of students they believed were involved in the stone-throwing near the northern West Bank’s Tapuah Junction, giving them tips on how to endure the interrogations, reviewing their rights upon detainment, and urging them to remain silent as much as possible.

The far-right activists’ decision to preempt Israeli authorities by traveling to the yeshiva at a time when basic details regarding the circumstances of Rabi’s death had yet to be determined has strengthened the belief among security officials that this was not a case of Palestinian stone throwers mistaking an Israeli vehicle for a Palestinian one, the defense official said.

Illustrative photo of a masked Jewish settler swinging a slingshot as he stands near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, on May 19, 2013. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

The official also highlighted the decision by the far-right activists to drive on the Sabbath, something that is forbidden to religious Jews, as further proof that they understood the crime’s gravity.

The news comes less than three weeks after Rabi was killed by a rock the size of a large tissue box that flew through the windshield of the car her husband was driving and struck the head of the 47-year-old mother of eight, who was sitting in the passenger seat.

Rabi was rushed to a nearby clinic, but was declared dead shortly thereafter.

Rabi’s husband Yakoub, who has worked construction in Israel since the early 1980s, told The Times of Israel that he heard the assailants speaking Hebrew after the rock was thrown.

The probes into the killing have been placed under a gag order.

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