Bill to prolong Shin Bet interrogation time

The Knesset Law Committee approved on Monday the draft for a second and third reading of a bill aimed at prolonging the amount of time the Shin Bet can interrogate security suspects without bringing them before a court. Security officials explained that the law was necessary after the disengagement from Gaza since Palestinian suspects living in the Gaza Strip can no longer be interrogated in accordance with military law. According to the bill, security suspects may be held in jail for four days after their arrest without seeing a judge. If there are any more court hearings after the first one during the first 20 days of detention, they may be held in the absence of the suspect. The committee added a provision that the Minister of Justice must report to the committee once every six months on the implementation of the law as long as it is in effect. Unless renewed by the Knesset, the law will expire in 18 months, according to the proposal.