Court orders Shin Bet to release four Jewish terror suspects

The court ordered that the fifth suspect remain in Shin Bet custody.

Court orders Shin Bet to release four Jewish terror suspects, January 10, 2019 (Israeli Police/Reuters)
The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court ordered the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to release to house arrest four of the minors suspected in the Jewish terrorism case, while allowing the fifth to be kept in custody.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, a Honenu lawyer representing some of the minors, declared a partial victory and slammed the Shin Bet for the alleged wrongful arrest and mistreatment of the four minors.
The Shin Bet responded to the court decisions by highlighting that the detention of one of the suspects was extended for six days and that the others were not released fully, but were still under house arrest.
It also contradicted claims by the minors’ defense lawyers that the four had been cleared of all charges, saying instead that the files for all four had been transferred to the prosecution who might still indict some or all of them.
On Sunday, the Shin Bet revealed that some of the minors are suspects in the October 12 murder of Palestinian woman Aysha Rabi, a mother of nine, who was hit by rocks while being driven in a car by her husband near the Tapuah Barrier in the West Bank.
With her husband beside her, she was wounded when a stone struck her head and taken to the hospital where she later died.
From the start, there was testimony from the Palestinian side that Jewish rock throwers had been involved, but no one had been arrested until last Sunday.
Ben-Gvir said the Shin Bet had spat on one of his clients, made statements bordering on sexual harassment, kept him tied up for hours and psychologically manipulated him.
“From the first moment I claimed that these are empty suspicions,” Ben-Gvir said after the ruling. “It was clear that the arrests rose, essentially, from the Shin Bet’s own PR considerations. I do not understand how the prosecutors permitted these arrests.”
“I expect the Shin Bet interrogators to do some soul searching,” Ben-Gvir added, “and I am sure that the fifth suspect will also be released soon.”
“It should be emphasized that all the stages of the investigation were carried out under close judicial scrutiny by state prosecutors and the courts,” the Shin Bet said after the suspects’ release.
“Since the arrest, there has been a targeted and continuing attempt by interested parties to undermine the investigation, including the spreading of false information about the conduct of interrogations and the tarnishing of the reputation of the Shin Bet and its employees,” the agency said.
In contrast, the Shin Bet has portrayed the minors as including suspects involved in the murder of Rabi and as being part of a radical group of anti-Zionist religious fanatics with similarities to the Jews currently on trial for the murder of three Palestinians in Duma in July 2015.
There are other parallels to that case in that some of the minors interrogated by the Shin Bet were prevented from seeing their lawyers for more than a week – a measure reserved for terrorism cases, but one that right-wing groups have publicly campaigned against.