First publication: Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin met earlier this week with UN Human Rights High Commissioner Louise Arbour, considered the most important international personage regarding the human rights issue.
The rare meeting was initiated by the foreign ministry, who thought it appropriate that the head of a covert security organization – a body accused by humanitarian organizations of violating the rights of Palestinian suspects – meet with Arbour to explain the ethical dilemma facing Israel in its struggle against Palestinian terror.
During the meeting, the two debated assassinations, Qassams, the IDF artillery operation in Beit Hanoun that led to 19 Palestinian deaths, the security fence and disruptions to Palestinian daily life.
The commissioner censured assassinations, claiming that they are not a legitimate combat tactic.
Diskin explained that Israel assassinates terrorists only pursuant to high quality intelligence information regarding an imminent attack, and when there is no other way to arrest the terrorists in question in time.
The Shin Bet, he emphasized, in fact prefers to capture terrorists alive, as they can then receive intelligence information from them.
He told Arbour that the Shin Bet operates within the law and makes every effort to uphold the human rights of prisoners and suspects.
Arbour expressed concern that the hampered freedom of movement and additional hardships in the territories is pushing the Palestinian population towards extremism and weakening the influence of moderate voices among them.
Diskin conceded that the hardships had an effect on the Palestinian population, but added that the solution is an end to Palestinian terror, which would lead to a removal of road-blocks and checkpoints.
Regarding Beit Hanoun, Arbour suggested compensating the casualties' families. This would indicate to the international community that the incident had indeed been an accident.