After he was given a day to decide whether to petition the Supreme Court against the decision or not, Israel’s Lod District Court released on Monday the Israeli killer of Palestinian mother Aisha al-Rabi.
The killer, who was not named due to a gag order, was charged in January with manslaughter, aggravated stone throwing and intentional sabotage of a vehicle “in the context of a terrorist act” for killing Al-Rabi in October.
It was originally thought the killer could face “considerable jail time” with a maximum sentence of 20 years, even though he avoided murder charges which could have seen him face life in prison.
However, earlier this month Israeli judge Hagai Tarsi announced that “the Probation Service would examine the possibility of releasing the minor to house arrest with an electronic monitoring device at his grandparents’ house in Kfar Saba,” northeast of Tel Aviv.
Yet according to a report by Arutz Sheva today, the court’s decision to release the killer was made following an opinion submitted by Director of the National Centre of Forensic Medicine Dr Chen Kugel.
Kugel argued that the injuries found on Al-Rabi’s head “do not correspond to the scenario of a blow from a stone,” which is how the 47-year-old mother of eight is believed to have been killed.
Haaretz added, however, that other medical professionals disagreed with Kugel’s interpretation, adding that “they believed a rock could cause this sort of damage”.
Aisha’s widowed husband, Yaqoub al-Rabi, told Haaretz on Tuesday that he had only heard about the release of the suspect to house arrest from the Israeli daily and that “no Israeli officials have updated him on developments in the case”.
Al-Rabi added: “I am ask[ing] the Israelis, through you: If things were the other way around, do you think a Palestinian suspect would be released if the victim was Israeli? I think the answer for you, is fairly clear, but for us, as Palestinians, it pains me to say there is nothing to hope for.”
On Sunday, the same court acquitted an extremist Israeli Jewish settler who burnt a Palestinian family to death in 2015 over fake pretexts.