Court: Lawyers may meet minors in Jewish terror case on Saturday night

Fighting breaks out at courthouse between police and right-wing activists.

Man in handcuffs - illustrative (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Man in handcuffs - illustrative
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Lawyers of three Jewish minors who are under questioning by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in an alleged Jewish terror case will get to meet with their clients for the first time on Saturday night, the Lod District Court ruled Thursday.
The minors, whose names are under gag order, were arrested by the Shin Bet on Sunday and the court has blocked the lawyers from meeting with them until now.
The court also extended the detention of the minors until at least Sunday.
It was unclear what had changed the court’s mind on the issue given that in some past alleged Jewish terror cases, courts have prevented lawyers from meeting with suspects for weeks at a time.
While the lawyers were pleased that they can meet with their clients on Saturday night, Itamar Ben-Gvir expressed deep fears, based on other cases, that their Shabbat beliefs would not be respected by the Shin Bet.
Further details of the allegations are under gag order pending developments in the ongoing questioning of the suspects.
Outside the court, there was an altercation between right-wing activist supporters of the three suspects and police, replaying an altercation outside other courts earlier in the week.
Publicly and robustly backing the Shin Bet, State Attorney Shai Nitzan said at the Calcalist conference on Monday that “terror is terror is terror” and that Jewish terrorists should not get off easy simply because they are not Arabs.
The Shin Bet itself has had no comment on the case.
Though generally suspects have the right to consult a lawyer, especially minors, in security cases, the courts permit the Shin Bet a longer period of time to question suspects without such access.
There were no allegations yet of the Shin Bet using enhanced interrogation on the suspects, but it did use those methods in 2015 on the alleged Duma Jewish terror conspirators.
The Shin Bet’s use of enhanced interrogation in the Duma case led to some confessions being disqualified by the trial court, though others were accepted by the court and the prosecution says it still expects to convict the defendants.
Whether enhanced interrogation might be used will depend on whether the suspects cooperate, and if they do not, whether the Shin Bet can convincingly argue that they need to unravel more aspects of the cell to stop further attacks.
However, there was speculation on Sunday night that this cell was less organized than the Duma cell which might weaken the idea that it had future dangerous attacks planned.
There have been 32 anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian incidents in 2018 which was nearly double from 2017.
In recent weeks in particular there have been a number of price tag vandalism incidents in Judea and Samaria which are unsolved to date.
Moreover, on October 13, a Palestinian woman named Aysha Ravi was hit by rocks while driving her car near the Tapuah Barrier in the West Bank and was killed.
Ravi was driving her car with her husband beside her and was injured when the stones struck her head.
She was taken to the hospital where she later died.
There was testimony from the Palestinian side that Jewish rock throwers had been involved, but no one had been caught to date.