Detention extended for Jewish terror suspect

The Petah Tikvah Magistrate's Court on Monday had already ordered three other suspects released, while extending the prime suspect's detention until Thursday.

Prison cell block (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Prison cell block
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The detention of the prime suspect in the Shin Bet's latest case pending against right-wing activists was extended again on Thursday until Sunday.
Being that the suspect was arrested in the middle of the night between January 1 and 2, Sunday comes close to the 21-day marker by which the prosecution usually either must file an indictment or release the suspect from custody.
The Petah Tikvah Magistrate's Court on Monday had already ordered three other suspects released, while extending the prime suspect's detention until Thursday.
On one hand, the seemingly contrary orders had signaled that the case might be falling apart due to the release of three suspects with no indictments - that after having initially prevented them from meeting with their lawyers.
On the other hand, the repeated extended detentions of the last suspect suggest that the Shin Bet and the prosecution are zeroing in on him as the main suspect in the case.
Since most issues related to the case have been under gag order for weeks, it is still unclear whether the charges the main suspect may face will include violent Jewish terror charges or more lenient price tag vandalism style charges.
The remaining suspect has had access to his lawyer this week, but was denied that access for the first six days of interrogation.
Typically, such an extreme measure is only taken if there are potential terror charges pending.
The four suspects have alleged that the Shin Bet roughed them up and violated their rights during interrogation, including sleep deprivation.
A group of Honenu (legal aid organization) lawyers representing the detainees and led by Adi Keidar, demanded a probe of how the Shin Bet has treated their clients.
Keidar has accused the Shin Bet of arbitrarily arresting right-wing activists to show it is doing something to combat a recent increase in price tag incidents against Arabs. 
Last week, a series of seemingly contradictory rulings were issued by the same Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court and by the higher Lod District Court concerning whether their rights were violated.
However, the specifics, once again, are still under gag order.
Prior to those rulings, the Supreme Court had endorsed the Shin Bet’s blocking the detainees from meeting with their lawyers in the early days of the case.
Honenu does not necessarily dispute that price tag attacks have occurred, as much as it disputes whether the agency has any evidence against the persons it arrested, as well as disputing the severity of the actions in question.
The Shin Bet on Monday reaffirmed its statement from this weekend saying that all four detainees’ rights are being preserved and that, “claims from interested parties about violation of detainees’ rights are baseless and designed to present a false public impression in order to delegitimize the Shin Bet.”
The agency said that all of its actions follow court-approved guidelines along with regular prosecution from the state prosecution office.
It said that the Shin Bet “would continue to act to thwart terror as terror,” usually a code phrase to say it will stop Jewish terrorists the same as it stops Palestinian terrorists.