Attorney: Lift gag order on ‘breakthrough’ in suspected Jewish terrorism case

"It’s a shame the public can’t know what’s going on."

December 2, 2015 00:35
1 minute read.
Computer hacking

Computer hacking (illustrative). (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A private attorney is pushing to make public details about an apparently dramatic development in one of the more significant security cases in Israel in recent years that relates to a suspected Jewish terrorist attack against Palestinians.

The story has seized headlines over the past two days, even as no media outlets are permitted to divulge information about it.

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“It’s a shame that the public can’t know what’s going on, so that there could be transparency and scrutiny, so that we could know that everything is being done by the letter of the law, because right now no one knows what’s going on,” said Attorney Chai Haber.

On Tuesday, Haber presented a motion to the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court to lift the gag order barring publication of all details regarding the case.

Since Monday night, the Israeli media have reported on a “major development” in this high-profile case handled by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Israel Police.

Under the gag order requested by police, media may only report that the development has led the security establishment closer to solving the crime and prosecuting those responsible.

No further details have been cleared for publication, including the very nature of the development. Israeli social media – especially WhatsApp – have managed to skirt the media ban to some extent, and have also been home to a large amount of rumors and speculation.

“Even in the fight against organized crime families or other major cases, I haven’t seen the authorities use these methods,” Haber said.

In his motion, Haber pointed out what he described as a number of problematic issues with how the security investigation has been carried out, and how these issues affect human rights.

The development follows a collaborative investigative effort between the Shin Bet, the anti-nationalist crimes unit of the Judea and Samaria District police (which investigates so-called “price-tag” incidents), and the State Attorney’s Office.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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