Kach activist Haim Pearlman was arrested Tuesday night by the Jerusalem Police on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a number of Palestinians. He is also suspected of attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm.
Sources close to Pearlman said the Shin Bet persuaded the Kach activist to commit the alleged acts. "He has proof of this. The Shin Bet is operating out of vindictive motives," one of them said.
Pearlman, 30, is suspected of murdering a number of Arabs in the 90s, in what was called the "serial stabber" affair. His associates said he was recently asked by the Shin Bet to serve as a collaborator and was offered NIS 1,500 (about $390) in exchange for any piece of information.
'Pure vengeance.' Pearlman (Photo: Moti Kimchi, courtesy of Haaretz)
According to Pearlman's associates, when he failed to provide any relevant information, a Shin Bet operative visited his home to try to persuade him to harm Arabs. On one occasion, the associates said, the Shin Bet operative asked him to murder Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
They said Pearlman has tapes that verify their claim, adding that he was arrested because the Shin Bet fears the tapes' transcripts will be published in the press. "(The arrest) was an act of pure vengeance," one associate said.
Pearlman, a resident of Givat Washington in central Israel, served time in the past for his involvement in an attack on two Arabs at a Jerusalem supermarket during the funeral procession of Talia and Binyamin Zeev Kahane, who were shot dead by Palestinian terrorists as they were driving home from Jerusalem on the Ramallah bypass road.
Binyamin Zeev Kahane was the son of the late Kach leader Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Pearlman also took part in criminal acts against Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005.
Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing Pearlman, said, "The Israeli public is about to be exposed to one of the most embarrassing affairs, which will reveal the methods of operation of the security agencies that tried to coerce the suspect into linking himself to acts to which he had no connection."