The Shin Bet interrogations division has been authorized to use ‘ticking bomb’ investigative techniques on Jewish terror suspects, which include using physical pressure, a security source revealed Thursday.
The use of the harsher investigative methods began after it became clear during the interrogation of detainees over the last month in the Dawabsheh family murders, that their partners in crime, who are not in custody, are about to carry out other attacks.
In the past, human rights groups claimed that Shin Bet interrogators tortured Palestinians, arguing that the ‘ticking bomb’ procedure includes sleep deprivation, lack of light, deafening music and ‘shaking’. The ‘ticking bomb’ procedure allows the use of extreme interrogation methods only if the objective is preventing attacks that are already underway.
Since 1999, when the use of torture in Israel was abolished following a Supreme Court ruling, it was decided that it was permissible to use ‘shakings’ in an investigation, including moderate physical pressure measures, only in cases which the Shin Bet defines as ‘ticking bombs’. In this case, a Shin Bet investigator, in consultation with his department head and head of the Shin Bet, can utilize special and physical interrogation methods. This will then be reported to the Attorney General to give the ‘shakers’ immunity and exemption from prosecution.
The Shin Bet, meanwhile, insists the investigation is done according to the acceptable legal and professional standards for investigations aimed at exposing the Jewish terror cells and thwarting future attacks.
"The Jewish terror organization, whose members are being interrogated now, is behind serious terror attacks. The members of this organization kept committing attacks even after the arson in Duma and viewed it as an attack worthy of imitation," the agency said.
"During the interrogations, measures suitable for this objective were used," it clarified.
The Shin Bet denied accusations of sexual harassment and electrocution of suspects, among other things.
"During court hearings, claims were raised according to which the suspects were sexually harassed during interrogation, that there was harm done to their genitals, that there was use of a Procrustean bed, kicking, spitting and electrocution, and that one of the suspects even tried to harm himself. The Israel Security Agency would like to clarify that these claims are false and completely disconnected from reality," a statement by the agency said.
The agency claimed that Jewish terror suspects have committed serious attacks "out of a radical and anti-Zionist ideology," and vowed to bring them the suspects, who it says believe the State of Israel has no right to exist, to justice.
"Their main objective is to overthrow the government in Israel, while using violent measures to the point of murdering Palestinians, launching a rebellion in order to appoint a king, undermining Israel's ties with other countries, expelling the Gentiles and hurting minorities," the Shin Bet said.
A video that aired on Channel 10 showed guests at a wedding of a young right-wing couple dancing with guns, knives and Molotov cocktails, with one of the guests making mockery of the death of baby Ali Dawabsheh, who died in an arson attack on his home in Duma, by repeatedly stabbing the infant's picture.
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represents one of the Jewish suspects held in connection with the Duma arson, accused the Shin Bet on Thursday of "diverting the discussion from the torture to the video, talking about it as if that was the most important thing."