State to extend detention of Jewish minor suspect in killing Palestinian

Neither side mentioned plea bargain negotiations, but at such talks could explain the delay.

A SUSPECT IN a Jerusalem court. Can the Shin Bet’s motto – that it goes after all terrorism equally – be disproven? (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
A SUSPECT IN a Jerusalem court. Can the Shin Bet’s motto – that it goes after all terrorism equally – be disproven?
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
The state prosecution and the defense lawyers for the main Jewish minor suspect in the killing of a Palestinian woman on October 12 agreed to extend his detention until Wednesday, a deal endorsed on Sunday by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court.
While the defense lawyers of Honenu said that they hoped that the prosecution would back down during those intermediate days from its intent to indict the minor, “Tz” (full name under gag order) The Jerusalem Post received indications that an indictment was still set for later this week.
Neither side mentioned plea bargain negotiations, but such talks – or consideration of defense arguments about reducing the severity of the charge – could explain the delay.
Last week, it was announced that the prosecution was expected to file an indictment next week against Tz in the case of the killing of Palestinian Aysha Rabi.
The police had already filed a declaration of the expected charges last week, which is invariably a prelude to an indictment.
A statement by police did not get into extensive detail, but did mention grave security offenses as well as the killing of Rabi.
There were indications that the charge will be manslaughter, which can carry up to a 20-year jail sentence, but a Justice Ministry spokeswoman refused to confirm what the charge will be.
Rabi, a mother of eight, was hit by rocks while being driven in a car by her husband near the Tapuah Barrier in the West Bank and killed on October 12.
She was injured when the stones struck her head and taken to the hospital where she later died.
From the start, there was testimony from the Palestinian side that Jewish rock throwers had been involved, but no one had been caught until last Sunday.
Four other minors were previously arrested by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), though they were released over a week ago.
Neither the police nor the Justice Ministry have commented on what charges those four might face, stoking speculation that they may not be charged or may only face very minor charges.
Adi Keidar, a lawyer for the Jewish minor expected to be indicted, has said that the case against his client is weak, and based on one weak piece of forensic evidence.
One issue there could be in the trial regarding securing a murder or even a manslaughter conviction is that even if there is a way to tie the minor to the rock throwing, it might be difficult to prove whether he threw the rock which killed Rabi.
Another issue could be proving whether he had intent to kill or merely to harass, which would also be a crime, but could be reduced to negligent homicide.
The father of Tz claimed that the head of the Yeshiva of Pri Haaretz, where Tz has been studying, has testified that Tz was at a Shabbat gathering at the time of the killing of Rabi – but did not provide details regarding timing.
The case has reanimated the debate over the Shin Bet’s aggressive handling of Jews accused of terrorism with some saying they should be treated the same as Palestinian terrorists and others saying that the agency violated the suspect-minors’ rights.