The Shin Bet (National Security Agency) and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir were at loggerheads on Sunday over the Shin Bet’s recommendation to unseal the house of a terrorist who killed three Israelis earlier in February.
According to the Shin Bet, weeks of intensive probing led to the conclusion that the residence should not be demolished and should never have been sealed as it was on February 12.
The agency said this was because the terrorist, Hossein Karaka, 31, a resident of the Isawiya neighborhood in east Jerusalem, was psychologically unstable, that his family may have taken some actions to try to dissuade him from perpetrating a terrorist act and, in general, to disconnect the residence from his attack.
This is a revision of the early analysis of the Shin Bet, which supported the government’s determination that there were enough connections between the terrorist and his family to penalize the family as well by demolishing their home.
As such, the Shin Bet sent its recommendation to IDF Home Front Command and the Justice Ministry.
Ben-Gvir goes against Shin Bet's recommendation
At some point, Ben-Gvir learned of the recommendation and leaked his opposition and that he was ordering the police not to carry out any order to unseal the terrorist’s house, as first reported by Channel 12.
However, The Jerusalem Post understands that the Shin Bet never asked Ben-Gvir, nor it is clear that he has any authority over the issue, and some might view his public order to the police as merely seeking to score political points. On the other hand, the police are often more involved in dealing with east Jerusalem issues, while the IDF focuses on the West Bank.
Ben-Gvir disagreed with the Shin Bet’s conclusion that the family did not know about their son’s terrorist intentions and said the terrorist had left a will behind for the family, Channel 12 reported. It was unclear how much time had elapsed between the family finding the will and when the terrorist carried out the attack.
The terrorist attack in Jerusalem
Two children and a young man were killed and four others were wounded in the terrorist ramming attack near the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem.
An off-duty police officer and other officers who arrived at the scene quickly after the attack shot the terrorist.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided shortly after the attack to seal and demolish Karaka’s home, expressing his condolences to the families of the victims.
The terrorist had recently been released from a psychiatric hospital.
There was no update at press time on the timing of when the residence would be unsealed.
Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.