A Palestinian woman has been killed after stones were thrown at the car she was travelling in, close to an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Aisha Al-Rawbi, 47, and a mother of eight, was pronounced dead at hospital late on Friday from a head injury sustained in the stone-throwing incident, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. Thousands of Palestinians attended her funeral on Saturday in the West Bank village of Biddya.
Her husband, Aykube al-Rawbi, 52, who was in the car with Aisha, said the vehicle was pelted with rocks when they drove by an illegal Israeli settlement near Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
“The stones came from the side where the settlement is. I could hear the people speak Hebrew, but I didn’t see them,” al-Rawbi told Reuters news agency.
Palestinian officials and media have blamed Israeli settlers for al-Rawbi’s death, stating that settlers threw the stones at the car, which had Palestinian licence plates.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that Israeli settlers had perpetrated a “heinous crime that cannot go unpunished.”
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it held the Israeli government directly responsible for al-Rawbi’s death and called on the international community to “speed up international protection for Palestinians.”
According to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, police have opened an investigation into the death. Footage of the scene showed what appeared to be a blood-stained broken brick at the foot of the passenger seat, which was covered in shattered glass and bloodstains, according to Reuters. Tensions have been running high in the West Bank over the past week with two attacks against Israelis.
On Friday, Israeli forces said they had arrested a Palestinian on suspicion of stabbing and wounding an army reservist on guard duty at a checkpoint south of Nablus the previous day.
Another wanted Palestinian, who is suspected of killing two Israeli colleagues and wounding a third in the northern West Bank last Sunday, remains on the run. Israeli security forces have identified him as Ashraf Naalwa, 23. In Gaza, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians on Friday, including two teenage boys.
Four Palestinians were killed along the fence east of Al-Bureij in the centre of the Gaza Strip, while one died east of Gaza City, Dr Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman for the health ministry, said.
Israel announced on Friday as well it would halt fuel deliveries headed to the besieged Gaza Strip in response to what it said were attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
“Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” said Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Qatari-bought fuel began arriving on Tuesday in a bid to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave and prevent any escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence.
The fuel deliveries were aimed at easing months of protests along the separation fence east of Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade for more than a decade.