State seeks to keep Jewish terror suspects under arrest
After reporting on further development in investigation into Duma arson, Shin Bet and State Attorney to file prosecutor's statement seeking to extend arrest beyond 30 day limit to file indictment; six arrested in Jerusalem protest against Shin Bet.
The Shin Bet and the State Attorney will file a prosecutor's statement later this week against the suspects arrested in connection with the arson attack in Duma, while the suspects' supporters claim the Shin Bet tortured them during harsh interrogations.
By the end of this week, the suspects will have been under arrest for 30 days, so far without being allowed to see their lawyers. The law dictates that an indictment must be filed within 30 days, but the Shin Bet does not yet know if and when indictments are filed and on what charges.
The prosecutor's statement is used to allow the State Attorney and the police to complete the work on the indictments. This requires keeping the suspects under arrest in order to prevent them from obstructing the investigation, and also in the cases of suspects considered dangerous to the public.
Hundreds of protesters attempted to block the entrance to Jerusalem at the Chords Bridge later on Sunday. The demonstrators claimed the suspects had been tortured by the Shin Bet. Six people were arrested in disturbances that erupted during the protests.
One suspect purportedly told his attorney that interrogators were bending his back, holding him upside down for extended periods of times, and other forms of torture. He supposedly told the lawyer that he had begged interrogators for poison so his suffering would end.
The Honenu legal organization, which also represents suspects in the case, claimed that one of the minors attempted suicide by slitting his wrists while in custody. It also said that "the torturing of Jewish minors at the Shin Bet's basements is unacceptable. Every citizen in Israel going through such scathing torture, particularly from his own people, would deliver the goods to the interrogators.
"Unfortunately, the investigation of the incident in Duma is under gag order, and that's why the Israeli public has yet to be exposed to the conduct of all of the investigative authorities working on the case. We are sure the public has a right to know the details. A Jewish heart could not remain indifferent to such details, and would not be able to accept them in any way."
On Sunday, the Shin Bet and Israel Police said another development has been made in the investigation into the arson that led to the death of three members of the Dawabsheh family. However, no further details can be reported as a gag order has been placed on the investigation.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, the lawyer of one of the suspects, said "the Shin Bet's leaks on progress being made in the Duma investigation are a blatant attempt to prepare the judges of the Supreme Court to authorize the continued torture of the interrogated. I don't know if there has been a significant development, but it is my belief that if such a development had occurred, the order barring me from meeting with my client would have been removed."
Earlier this month, the Shin Bet cleared for publication that Jewish youths had been arrested for alleged involvement in Jewish terrorist groups with suspected ties to the murderous terror attack in Duma. The identity of the suspects is still under gag order.
A relative of the family hurt by the Jewish terror acts told Ynet he received no updates from Israeli authorities about a development in the investigation.
Last week, Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazeri, speaking to the Knesset's Law and Justice Committee, acknowledged that AG Yehuda Weinstein had approved "exceptional measures" to be taken by the Shin Bet in their investigation into the attack.
"There is no investigation under the cover of darkness and we are not hiding anything. Every activity is accompanied by attorneys, some of them with the authority of the AG," Nazeri said.
"We have indeed taken exceptional steps which has brought judicial criticism. We told the Supreme Court yesterday (Sunday) that they (the arrestees) can lay tefilin and light Hanukkah candles. I personally spoke with the manager at the Shin Bet facility they are currently being held in," Nazeri continued.
Nazeri also justified the decision to continue barring the detainees from meeting their lawyers, explaining the various stages and approvals needed in order to extend such a ban. The primary factor, Nazeri explained, is "the fear of harming the investigation when there is a threat to human life."
The Dawabsheh family home was set on fire at the end of July. Masked men threw Molotov cocktails into the house and fled. Baby Ali died in the fire and his father Saed died a week later from his wounds. Mother Reham's condition was extremely serious, and she too died five weeks later. Four-year-old Ahmed's condition has improved significantly in recent weeks, but he remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva.
Security officials said the arrest of the suspects will not necessarily lead to the solving of the case or the indictments in the foreseeable future. Past experience shows that Jews arrest on suspicion of committing terror attacks against Palestinians have chosen to remain silent and with this prevent the solving of similar cases.
Yoav Zitun and Roi Yanovsky contributed to this story.