Outcry Over Treatment of Jewish Terror Suspects Aims to Thwart Shin Bet Investigation

allegations of torture are being exaggerated as part of a well-planned effort led by the lawyers of the suspects in the murder of Aisha Mohammed Rabi

Suspects detained over their suspected involvement in the killing of a Palestinian woman are seen outside the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court after a judge releases them to house arrest

Amos Harel writes in Haaretz, “The investigation by the Shin Bet security service into the killing in October of Aisha Mohammed Rabi, a Palestinian woman who died when her car was stoned near Nablus, was brought out into the open on Sunday. The development occurred just days after five juvenile suspects in the case — yeshiva students in the settlement of Rehelim — were arrested. The Shin Bet security agency was forced to lift the gag order on a major portion of the details of the case against the backdrop of an escalating battle between the agency and the supporters of the detained suspects over the Shin Bet’s conduct of the investigation.”

“A previous investigation into suspected acts by Jews in the 2015 arson killing in the West Bank Palestinian village of Duma of three members of the Dawabsheh family also stirred some controversy among religious Zionists. For his part, Naftali Bennett, who at the time chaired the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi party, condemned the killings and was joined by several other Knesset members from his political camp, but the Jewish suspects in the case attracted considerable support in the settlements and among the far-right, which intensified as reports proliferated of the use of “special methods” (in effect, a relatively restrained system of torture) by the Shin Bet in its interrogations.”…

Pri Haaretz Yeshiva in the Rehelim settlement

“The more recent case surfaced against the backdrop of the April 9 Knesset election and the efforts of several political parties to garner votes from the extreme right — parties that are concerned about failing to attract enough votes for any seats in the next Knesset. The same holds true in explaining how the violence against the police last week in the evacuation of the Amona outpost and the public hazing that the prime minister meted out to his own military secretary passed with barely a protest or reservation on the right. The military secretary, Brig. Gen. Avi Bluth, who has roots in West Bank settlements, was reprimanded for delaying passing on an order to halt the evacuation until it was too late.”

Aisha and Yakoub Rabi and their daughters

“When it comes to arrest of the five suspects in the Rabi killing, Netanyahu has been completely silent, and in the absence from the current cabinet of Moshe Ya’alon, who was defense minister in 2015, investigators are left without any practical, open backing from the political leadership.” (more…)

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