A sign stands at an Israeli checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus July 23, 2013. Israeli and Palestinian officials put forward clashing formats for peace talks due to resume in Washington on Monday for the first time in nearly three years after intense U.S. mediation. It is unclear how the Un.
(photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
Israeli police are investigating the possibility a Jewish extremist threw the stone that killed Aysha al-Rabi, 45, late Friday, as she traveled in a car with her family on Route 60 near the Tapuah junction.
A gag order has been placed on details regarding the investigation. The Shin Bet’s (Israel Security Agency) Jewish Division is also involved in the probe.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday offered his condolences to the father and husband of a Palestinian woman who, according to Palestinian sources, was killed after her car was pelted with stones by Jewish settlers near Nablus.
Abbas told the father and husband that Rabi has been declared a “martyr because she had sacrificed her blood for the sake of her homeland and people.”
He “strongly condemned the despicable crime that was perpetrated by the settlers under the protection of the state of occupation,” according to a statement issued by the PA president’s office.
“This crime should not go unpunished,” Abbas said.
Rabi was from the village of Bidya in the Nablus area. Her husband, Yacoub, said that his wife was seriously injured in the head by a big stone that was thrown by settlers on Friday evening as they drove near the village of Za’tara, south of Nablus. He said his daughter, who was also in the car, was unharmed.
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Her husband said that he went to fetch his wife from a wedding of a relative in Hebron, and on the way back to their village their car was attacked.
“I continued driving while calling out to her ‘Aysha, Aysha,’” he recounted. “Our nine-year-old daughter, who was sitting in the back seat, was crying and screaming as she watched her mother injured.”
The Ramallah-based government condemned the incident and renewed its call for providing international protection for the Palestinians against “increased bloody crimes and attacks by settlers and the occupation forces.”
Yousef al-Mahmoud, spokesman for the PA government, held Israel fully responsible for the “escalation” in the West Bank.
The PA Foreign Ministry also condemned the “brutal crime carried out by settler terrorist militias” and said it was following up on the case with the International Criminal Court.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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