IDF Court to rule if Palestinian terrorist fit to be taken by Shin Bet

After the suspect of Rina Shnerb's murder was hospitalized, the court is to decide if he should be brought back

By
October 3, 2019 21:50
4 minute read.
The place where the IED that killed Rina Shnerb exploded near Ein Bubin spring

The place where the IED that killed Rina Shnerb exploded near Ein Bubin spring. (photo credit: TPS)

In the very near future an IDF Court will rule about whether to send a Palestinian, who was hospitalized on Saturday following his interrogation for the alleged terror killing of Rina Shnerb, back to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency.)

There were contrary indications about whether the decision might be made as early as Thursday, Friday or early next week.

The Palestinian, Samer Mina Salim Arbid, was arrested by security forces last Wednesday and the Shin Bet immediately began interrogating him.

On Wednesday of this week, an IDF Court rejected Arbid’s defense lawyers’ request to release him from the status of being a detainee on the grounds that he was at least temporarily in a coma.

The defense lawyers said that Arbid was tortured by the Shin Bet during his interrogation and that he was almost killed as a result.

The IDF Court ruled that even as his medical condition was serious over the weekend, by Wednesday his medical situation had improved sufficiently to indicate that he was likely to make a full recovery in the near future.

Presuming he made a full recovery in the near future, the IDF Court said that it would send him back to the Shin Bet for further interrogation based on the IDF Prosecution’s evidence that Arbid was involved in killing Shnerb and other violent terrorist activities.

The Jerusalem Post
has learned that already on Thursday, at a detention hearing before the IDF Courts, he complained of various pains from his interrogation by the Shin Bet.

Despite these warning signs, the interrogation continued and when Arbid was transferred to Hadassah Hospital by Saturday, the Post has learned that he was considered in critical condition.

As of Sunday, the Justice Ministry unit for probing alleged torture by the Shin Bet issued a vague statement that it was reviewing the case.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has already sent a letter to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit demanding that the initial probe of the alleged torture be wrapped up in a period of weeks with a decision about whether a criminal investigation will be pursued.

PCATI frequently points out that the unit for probing alleged torture by the Shin Bet has only opened a criminal investigation in one case out of around 1,200 complaints since the year 2000, nearly always closing cases.

Further, PCATI has slammed the unit for an average decision timeline of around 39 months.

While the unit was moved from the Shin Bet to the Justice Ministry in 2014 with significant fan-fair about its new and greater independence, government officials acknowledge that part of the delays come from the unit being underfunded.

In addition, the unit had no director for approximately a full year until August 26 when Guy Asher was appointed to replace Jana Modgavrishvili, who had stepped down in September 2018.

PCATI is also pressing various Knesset members to insist on the videotaping of Shin Bet interrogations going forward.

The NGO said it was too bad that such an extreme case was necessary for the public to take notice of a small but regular number of alleged cases of torture by the Shin Bet of Palestinian terror suspects or those connected to suspects.

The Shin Bet and the Justice Ministry have rejected video recordings, saying this would reveal sources and methods.

They also say that the Shin Bet never tortures and that any “moderate pressure” it applies is within boundaries set by the High Court of Justice and saves lives.

In recent years, the Shin Bet also has allowed the Justice Ministry unit to make unannounced spot inspections of interrogations using a live feed, but the live feed does not record.

Arbid’s lawyer Mahmoud Hassan had not responded to inquiries for an update at press time, but the Shin Bet and the IDF Court were allowing Arbid visits from his mother and sister.

Last week security forces arrested Arbid and others who allegedly murdered 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and wounded her father, Rabbi Eitan Shnerb and brother Dvir near Ein Bubin spring in August next to the settlement of Dolev.

The alleged terrorists, from Ramallah and villages in the Binyamin areas, were said to be members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who were involved in the planning and execution of the terror attack as well as suspects in other terror attacks committed in the area.

Arbid, 44, is alleged to be one of the PFLP’s officials in Ramallah and was previously arrested for involvement in alleged terrorist activities during the Second Intifada under the direct command of the PFLP leadership, preparing explosive devices and committing terrorist attacks. Arbid allegedly set up and activated the IED that killed Rina.


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