Photo Credit: Tali Mayer/FLASH90
MK Orit Strouk in the Knesset Plaza, January 24, 2013.

Three weeks ago, when the Knesset was in the process of being dissolved, three senior Shin Bet officials arrived at the office of MK Orit Strouk, chairwoman of the Religious Zionism faction, and tried to convince her to enlist her faction’s support for a bill exempting the clandestine police from a High Court of Justice ruling on minimum living space for detainees, Reshet Bet radio reported Monday morning.

The Shin Bet was trying to persuade the RZ faction chairwoman to approve the bill because during the “legislation blitz” before the Knesset was dissolved, bills could be passed only with the mutual consent of the coalition and the opposition, and the Shin Bet had heard that the RZ opposed their bill.


The High Court ruling requires that the detainee be given a minimum living space in prison, and the three Shin Bet seniors – the head of the investigations division, the legal counsel to the investigations division, and the legal counsel to the legislation division – wanted a law that exempts them from this requirement and permits them to cram together as many suspects as they see fit if need be.

The three senior Shin Bet officials told Strouk that if the law is not passed, the Shin Bet would be forced to reduce the number of detainees under its care significantly.

MK Strouk offered a deal: her faction would support the bill after the Shin Bet would dismantle its infamous Jewish Department, which is dedicated to the harassment, detention, and torture of Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria.

MK Orit Strouk released a statement saying: “Yes, I delayed––as chairwoman of the Religious Zionist faction––two Shin Bet bills, during the phase when I could veto them. I explained to the Shin Bet officials who sat in my office that the way in which they utilize the special capabilities that the Knesset gives them is unacceptable. It is inconceivable that a guy who acted in self-defense at a lynching incident near Ariel, and certainly did not intentionally go out to attack anyone, would be interrogated under torture in the Shin Bet’s dungeons, while on the other hand, Arabs who murdered Jews during Guardians of the Wall (May 2021), as in the case of Destau Bisset Hy’d in Ramla – are not touched by the Shin Bet investigations.”

“Something fundamental must change in the conduct of the Shin Bet after the election,” Mk Strouk concluded.

Which brings us for the second time this morning to the possibility of giving Strouk’s faction member Itamar Ben Gvir the mantle of Internal Security Minister (see also: New Poll Shows Ben Gvir Is Vote Magnet at Likud’s Expense).

The Shin Bet issued a statement confirming MK Strouk’s statement and blaming her for substantial harm to the security of Israeli citizens as a result of the failure of their bill.


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