Four of the five Rechelim yeshiva students, all minors, who have been detained by the Shin Bet over bizarre suspicion of throwing stones on a Shabbat night at a PA Arab couple’s car are expected to be released on Thursday.
The young detainees have reportedly undergone brutal interrogations in the dungeons of the Jewish unit of the clandestine police Shin Bet, and were prevented from seeing their lawyers all that time.
The fifth, young detainee will be brought to the court for a remand hearing, where the Shin Bet is expected to extend his detention by several days. Sources close to the fifth detainee believe this is yet another Shin Bet spin and the student will also be released shortly.
The “Jewish Terror” affair of which the detained minors are being accused concerns the death of a PA Arab woman about two months ago, allegedly as a result of stone throwing by these Jewish youths. The Shin Bet issued a statement saying “the suspects were arrested for serious terrorist offenses, including murder.”
The Shin Bet also reported that the suspects attend the Pri Ha’aretz yeshiva in Rechelim, a settlement located near the scene of the crime.
The only substantial evidence the Shin Bet has revealed has nothing to do with the accused boys, but with the following, also included in the statement: “On Saturday, the morning after the attack, a group of activists left by car from Yitzhar to the yeshiva in Rechelim in order to brief young boys who study in the yeshiva on how to prepare for dealing with Shin Bet interrogations.”
Beyond the above, all the details of the investigation and the identities of the suspects are under the gag order.
In other words, the Shin Bet’s theory of the crime is that when the activists from Yitzhar heard about the youths’ murder of the Arab passenger, they expected a visit from the clandestine police, and decided to desecrate Shabbat in order to instruct the supposed little murderers on toughing it out in the dungeons.
The boys’ rabbi has already told the Shin Bet the boys spent Shabbat night at his table and remained in his vicinity, but, surely, you can’t trust a settler rabbi.
The site of the murder happens to be a favorite spot of Arab stone throwing youths, who regularly attack Israeli vehicles on Rt. 60. That could be a theory of the crime as well. Another one can focus on the husband of the deceased, who provided three different, contradictory, versions of the event.
There’s yet another theory: the Shin Bet, which has been scolded by Israeli judges—believing to be working in a democracy—and have been throwing out cases and confessions because the witnesses offered them under weeks of interrogations that included torture, humiliation and intimidation without access to an attorney – that same Shin Bet is determined to show, once and for all, that there exists out there a terrorist underground, fierce and determined, comprised of settlement yeshiva students. And when no such underground emerges using professional police methods, they’d squeeze one with their bare fists.
Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir said Thursday morning that “from the first moment, I argued that the suspicions were not serious, and from the moment I saw the Shin Bet’s spin, and heard about the tendentious leaks, it was clear that the arrests were due mainly to considerations of the Shin Bet public relations.”
“I do not understand how the prosecution allowed the arrests, when it was clear from the start that there was no material evidence linking the suspects, including my client, to involvement in the act,” Ben-Gvir said, adding, “My client spent 12 days under severe interrogations that traumatized him, and now one question must be asked: who will compensate him for that trauma?”
“I expect Shin Bet interrogators to do soul-searching, and I believe that all the detainees in this affair will be released shortly.”
Clearly, what Ben-Gvir suggests is a civil lawsuit against the Shin Bet with multiple zeroes in the damages part. It remains to be seen whether a clandestine gang of thugs could use the claim of national security secrets to protect them from facing the music. And what an agonizing music it could be.