Aysha Rabi, the victim of an alleged attack by Jewish youth in the West Bank.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The family of Aysha Rabi, who was killed in a stone-throwing attack in the West Bank on October 12, said on Sunday they had no doubt from the beginning her assailants were settlers.
The Palestinian Authority and media had also accused settlers of being behind the attack.
Aysha’s husband, Ya’kub, who was beside her in the car during the fatal stone-throwing, said on Sunday that he heard from friends about the arrest of the minors suspected of involvement in the attack.
“We heard that some settlers have been arrested,” he said. “But we didn’t hear anything official from the police or army. We don’t know more than that, and all we want at this stage is to put this affair behind us. We want to move on with our lives.”
The arrest of the suspects, he added, came too late for him and his eight children.
“If the attack had been carried out by Arabs, they would have caught them within a day or two,” he said. “We said from day one that this was an attack that was carried out by settlers. It was not the first incident of its kind against Arabs in the same area. The arrest of the settlers is not going to bring back my wife. Anyone who does something bad should pay the price. I don’t want more people to be harmed.”
The Rabi family is from the village of Bidya (pop. 8,000) east of Netanya in the West Bank. Thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of Aysha, who has been declared a “martyr.”
On the day of the attack, Ya’kub and Aysha were driving home after visiting their married daughter, who lives in Hebron.
Aysha’s visit there was also aimed at preparing for the wedding of another daughter, 23-year-old Salam.
Aysha, 45, was the mother of two sons and six daughters. Her 10-year-old daughter, Rama, was with her in the car when the terrorist attack occurred. According to her father, the girl has since been suffering from trauma “because she saw her mother die in front of her.”
One of Aysha’s brothers, Fawzat Bolad, was killed in a clash with the IDF in 1999. That incident occurred near the town of Kharbata, west of Ramallah. Bolad’s family said at the time that he was killed hours before his wedding.
Aysha’s relatives and friends said after the arrest of the suspects that they don’t believe the perpetrators will be punished. “I’m sure they will release the settlers very soon,” said a cousin of Aysha. “When a Jew kills an Arab, that’s not considered a big crime in Israel. But when an Arab kills a Jew, that’s considered a terrorist attack and the entire police and army forces are mobilized to capture the attackers.”
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