Aisha al-Rawbi's husband says he is not after revenge
Yacoub al-Rawbi, whose wife was killed in a car accident in the West Bank after her vehicle was allegedly pelted with stones by Jewish settlers, claims the family 'does not seek revenge' only 'punishment for murderers'; Settlers in response: 'Statistics show Arabs are usually the ones throwing stones.'
In an interview with Ynet, al-Rawbi recalled the events which led to the tragic incident in which Aisha al-Rawbi was killed.
“One of the stones shattered the windshield, penetrated the car and struck my wife in the head," he stressed.
The investigation is being handled by the Judea and Samaria District Police, in cooperation with the Jewish Division of the Shin Bet, which is responsible for nationalistic crime committed by Jews against Arabs. So far, no evidence linking the settlers to the scene of the incident was found.
On Saturday, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court issued a gag order on the investigation into the of the death of Rawbi last Friday evening, a Palestinian resident of the northern West Bank village of Biddya. Her husband and nine-year-old daughter were in the car as well.
Rawbi, 47, died after spending two days at her eldest daughter’s house in Hebron, where she had attended a wedding of a relative.
"She was supposed to return home the day before the incident, but she decided to postpone her return because she was afraid of the settlers," the widower said, adding that he eventually drove to Hebron himself on Friday to pick up his wife.
In two weeks, the Rawbi’s third daughter was due to get married.
"I drove to pick up Aisha from Hebron to start preparing for the wedding … when we got close to the Rehelim settlement (near the Tapuach Junction), I heard people shouting in Hebrew and then the stone was thrown.
"I did not realize at first that my wife was hurt because she did not scream or say a single word. Then I looked at her and saw she wasn’t breathing. Her face was full of blood …. The daughter that was in the car started screaming ‘my mother is dead, my mother is dead,’ she was left emotionally scarred by that, she is not letting go of her mother’s phone,” Yacoub described.
According to the widower, the family does “not want revenge, only to catch and punish those who murdered her."
In recent days, following the surge of terror attacks in the West Bank, defense officials have been concerned of a possible increase in Jewish revenge attacks against Palestinians. For the time being, there is no known detainee, nor is it clear whether Jews are indeed responsible for the tragedy.
On Thursday, after the stabbing attack in which an IDF reservist was moderately wounded, a spontaneous demonstration of hilltop youth took place in the area, prompting the Border Police to arrest some of the participants.
Tzvi Sukkot, from the settlement of Yitzhar, told Ynet he is sceptical regarding the possibility that Rawbi was killed by settlers.
"It's impossible to know who did it, but statistics show that Arabs are usually the ones throwing stones," he exclaimed.
Some right wing activists also criticized the Shin Bet’s involvement in the investigation.
“The experience proves that the Jewish Division of the Shin Bet investigates the hilltop youths in an aggressive and problematic manner, which does not lead to the truth, but rather to false confessions,” said Itamar Ben-Gvir from the far-right Otzma Yehudit party.
In addition, UN envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, addressed the incident via his official Twitter account.
"I condemn the attack in which a woman was killed by stones allegedly thrown by Israeli perpetrators. Those responsible should be brought to justice quickly. I call on all sides to stand against violence and terrorism," he wrote on the social network.