The death of palestinian Aisha Rabi – reportedly killed after her car was pelted with rocks – has been all over the mainstream media. The murder is being blamed on “settlers”, and not just by palestinians and members of the international community; there are also plenty of Israelis, who are accepting the palestinian version of events without question. For the record, Israel is investigating the incident and has imposed a gag order on the process.
What I will say is this: the palestinian version of what happened is so far not passing my smell test. As usual, there are glaring inconsistencies in the various reports.
According to Reuters, the victim’s husband could not see the perpetrators, but claims to have heard them speaking Hebrew.
The woman’s husband, Aykube al-Rawbi, 52, said he was driving by a settlement late on Friday after dark along a main road near the Palestinian city of Nablus and that he could not see who pelted the car.
“The stones came from the side where the settlement is. I could hear the people speak Hebrew, but I didn’t see them,” said al-Rawbi.
Yet in another version reported, he can see the perpetrators well enough to know how many there were, and their rough age:
“I don’t have any doubt it was the settlers,” Yacoub told Haaretz on Saturday, “there were six or seven of them, and it was clear that they were young.
Elder of Ziyon also raises another issue:
For a large stone to shatter a windshield, the car must be going at a fair speed, at least 50 kph. Can one really hear conversations and recognize the language at that speed? If the windows were open the wind would drown out any voices, if they were closed the voices would be too muffled.
Her cousin, Isam Rabi, said the family’s car was pelted with stones. Aisha was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her husband saw a group of settlers nearby, Rabi said.
In this version, the “settlers” were nearby. Had they been on the road, her husband surely would have mentioned that fact, rather than the vague “nearby.”
Update: In this version, the husband claims
“The rock came from an elevated area on the right side of the road next to the settlement, which is not close to any Palestinian village.”
Again, clearly not thrown from the road as claimed by IMEMC News.
But let me be clear: If anyone threw rocks at the car they are murderers to be condemned, whether Jews or palestinian Arabs. I just refuse to condemn Jewish residents of the area for the murder – or palestinian residents of the area either, for that matter – until we know who the culprits were.