Photo Credit: Ofer Meir/Flash90
A resident of Rechelim argues with protesters at the entrance to the community, January 8, 2019.

Also read: Shin Bet Claims DNA of Yeshiva Student Found on Rock that Killed Arab Passenger

A source close to the investigation of the killing of Aisha al-Rabi on the road near the settlement of Rechelim told Channel 13 on Thursday that the dean of the yeshiva where the accused boy, 16, was enrolled is going to be the key prosecution witness against him, having given testimony that significantly refuted the boy’s alibi.

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In addition, contrary to claims made in the media, none of the students of the Rechelim yeshiva who testified before the Shin Bet claimed that the boy was with him at the time of the incident.

The same source said there would be no further charges against the four boys who had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the incident. That’s because a sufficient evidentiary basis has not been established for filing of indictments against them.

The four youths were released to house arrest two weeks ago – while the main suspect was the only one who remained in custody.

The source also referred to the DNA remains found on the rock that was thrown at al-Rabi – the central piece of evidence against the boy, and said that the highway in the area had been examined meticulously, and that apart from the DNA of the victim and her husband who pushed off the rock, only the remains of the suspect’s DNA were found.

The maximum sentence the accused teen may receive is 25 years, but the source added that he is unlikely to receive the maximum sentence.

Attorney Amir Bracha of the Honenu legal aid society stated: “It would have been better had the indictment that was filed today not been submitted. This is an indictment with a big question mark. We went back and said it all along. The court also spoke about the fact that the central evidence is actually a kind of unknown DNA. This indictment, which is based on a limping DNA, is unlikely to stand the test of the court.”

Regarding the question of whether or not DNA can be preserved and removed from a stone, we recommend the study Recovery of Protein and DNA Trapped in Stone Tool Microcracks, conducted by Orin C Shanks, Robson Bonnichsen, Anthony T Vella, and Walt Ream in 2001.

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