Haim Pearlman, suspected of four counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder, was remanded in custody until July 22 by the Petah Tikva District Court on Thursday.
During the hearing held in his absence police
The suspected, who is associated with the outlawed Kach movement, was arrested Tuesday night by Jerusalem Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). As well as murder, he is suspected of possessing illegal weapons.
in 1998 and 1999 Pearlman, 29, from Beit
Rabban near Yavne, went on a stabbing spree, killing three Palestinians
in the Jerusalem
neighborhoods of Mea She’arim and Abu Tor.RELATED:
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Pearlman is accused
of traveling in far-right circles. He is married and has three
He allegedly tried to murder five more Palestinians in
the Jerusalem area.
Pearlman denied all the allegations, and said
in an interview recorded two days before his arrest and aired on
Channel 2 on Wednesday night that he was being framed.
lawyer, Adi Keidar, told The
on Wednesday, “In the coming days, we will expose
the unacceptable and shameful techniques used by the Shin Bet against my
client. My client has denied all wrongdoing.” Keidar added that he has
been prevented from meeting with Pearlman for the time being.
the condition that I was in, I would have confessed to killing
Arlosoroff,” Pearlman said during the Channel 2 interview, in a
reference to Socialist Zionist leader Haim Arlosoroff, whose unsolved
murder in Tel Aviv in 1933 was blamed on right-wing elements.
Shin Bet gave me money to feed them information six months ago,”
He also accused his purported handlers of
encouraging him to commit violent acts, including killing Sheikh Raed
Saleh, the head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch, as part of
the efforts to frame him.
An associate of Pearlman’s told the Post
that the Shin Bet enticed
Pearlman with cash payments to become an informer, but then cut links
with him after realizing that the information he provided was worthless.
associate added that audio recordings were made by Pearlman of Shin Bet
“He was a right-wing activist 10 years ago, but since then has left. He
couldn’t get a teaching permit because of a past arrest during a
disturbance related to the disengagement [from Gaza and parts of
northern Samaria in 2005],” the associate said.
“He was in
financial distress, so the Shin Bet exploited him. They gave him
hundreds of shekels for meeting with them, and kept in regular touch
with him, asking him to provide them with information,” the associate
The associate said that after realizing the information
Pearlman was giving was false, undercover agents were sent to Givat
Washington to put up posters advertising a job.
contacted the people who advertised the position, he realized they were
Shin Bet agents, the associate said.“They crossed the line, and tried to
cause him to commit violent acts. These conversations were recorded by
him. When the Shin Bet realized they were being recorded, they framed
him, out of revenge,” the associate claimed.
claimed to have heard the recordings.
“In one tape, an agent is
heard saying, ‘Let’s go to a village in the North... It’s not a problem
to take out Salah. You open fire on the vehicle... You have to empty out
the cartridge... Or you can plant a bomb,’” he said.
“Why was he
arrested now, when the cases are more than 10 years old?” he said.
“There is no doubt this is revenge.”
Pearlman appeared at the
Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, where his custody was
extended by a day, despite attempts by the police representative to get
it extended by 15 days. His next remand hearing will be held on Thursday
at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
Pearlman was arrested in
the past for waving an Israeli flag on the Temple Mount, but was
acquitted. He was also arrested for attacking an Arab man during the
funeral of Binyamin and Talia Kahane in 2000. Binyamin, the son of Kach
founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, and his wife were shot dead in their van by
Palestinian terrorists while driving in the West Bank.
Bet fully lifted a media gag order on the case late Wednesday night and
released a statement saying: “Pearlman was arrested on suspicion of
carrying out severe offenses, including a series of murders of Arabs and
additional terrorist attacks against Arabs. The decision to arrest
Pearlman came after months of intelligence efforts in conjunction with
the Israel Police and the state prosecution.
The efforts ...
included a number of meetings held between Shin Bet members and Pearlman
... and other intelligence-gathering operations aimed at consolidating
information on him.”
The Shin Bet rejected claims that Pearlman
had been framed.
Shmuel “Zangzi” Meidad, the founder of Honeinu, a
human rights organization that is helping to defend Pearlman, commented
about the arrest.
“Soon, new information will come to light that
will shock Israel in the revelation of how the Shin Bet works,” Meidad
said, adding that he was not at liberty to go into specifics. “From my
understanding, Pearlman may have been duped into carrying out killings
by the Shin Bet.”
Meidad said Pearlman was a normative person
whose weaknesses were exploited by the security services.Gil Shefler contributed to this report.