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Police raid yeshiva as part of Rabi murder investigation

Israeli police on Wednesday raided Pri Haaretz, the West Bank yeshiva of five Jewish teenagers arrested in connection with the murder of Palestinian woman Aisha Rabi last October.

Haaretz reported that police have questioned 30 Pri Haaretz students, and issued a summons for the remaining 50 students on Wednesday, ordering them to present themselves for questioning immediately at the police station in nearby settlement of Ariel.

Earlier this week, the Shin Bet security service revealed details regarding its investigation into the death of Aisha Rabi, a mother of nine, who was killed when her car was hit by stones on 12 October near Rehelim in the West Bank. On 30 December, three students of the Pri Haaretz Yeshiva in Rehelim were arrested for “grave terrorism offences and murder.” Two other teenagers from the yeshiva were arrested this week. Four teenagers will be released today under restrictive conditions following the request of the Shin Bet. The names of those arrested and other details of the investigation are subject to reporting restrictions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed support for the Shin Bet in its efforts to prevent Palestinian and Jewish terrorism. “We owe it a lot; it does its work with professionalism and dedication … there is no place for attacks on it,” he said.

President Reuven Rivlin echoed the Prime Minister, saying: “I know the people in the Shin Bet service, and the welfare of the State of Israel and its citizens is the only thing that they care about … I would like to support the state’s servants in all the security branches and the Shin Bet in particular, who save lives day and night, allowing us and our children to sleep peacefully.”

He added that there is “no democracy without criticism, even of our most necessary institutes,” and that “we must be wary of irresponsible attacks on people whose job it is to guard and protect Israel’s security at home and abroad”.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked met this week with the families of the five Jewish teenagers arrested in connection with the murder.