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Assassination Plot Investigation Leads to Arrest of Female Settler

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Israeli police arrested the first female suspect in connection with the Nov. 4 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Described by police as one of the “dominant members of an organization that wants to kill Rabin,” Margalit Harshefi, 20, from the West Bank settlement of Beit El, was brought in handcuffs before a court in Petach Tikva on Wednesday.

Police said Harshefi was not suspected of active participation in the assassination, but that she knew of the plot in advance and failed to alert security officials.

She was charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and failure to prevent a felony.

Harshefi pleaded not guilty.

She was the eighth person to be arrested in connection with the assassination. All the suspects are religious Jews in their 20s.

The judge ordered her placed in custody and said she could not see a lawyer until Sunday.

Both Harshefi’s father and lawyer said she knew confessed assassin Yigal Amir, but had no criminal connection with him.

Harshefi is a student at Bar-Ilan University, the same school attended by Amir.

Meanwhile, another suspect already arrested in connection with the alleged plot to kill Rabin was brought before a Tel Aviv court for a third custody hearing.

Ohad Skornik, 23, is suspected of having prior knowledge of the plot, and of being a member of an extremist group that planned attacks against Arabs.

He was ordered held in custody for another five days.

Another suspect in the case, Avishai Raviv, leader of the Jewish militant Eyal group, was released on bail Wednesday and placed under house arrest at his parents’ home for seven days.

In addition to arresting those believed to have conspired in the Rabin assassination, police have also launched a broader crackdown on Israeli extremists, serving indictments this week against more than 50 settlers accused of disturbing the public order or attacking Palestinians or their property.

Among those charged this week were Rabbi Moshe Levinger, founder of the settlement of Hebron, and Baruch Marzel, who has been under house arrest for more than a year because of his militantly anti-Arab views.

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