Israeli court rules security services can interrogate Jewish minors alone

District court rules that three Jewish minors arrested Sunday for alleged security offenses must face interrogation alone.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Lod District Court ruled Monday that the Shin Bet may continue to interrogate three Jewish minors arrested on Sunday for alleged security offenses without the presence of their lawyers, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Two of the teens were whisked away from their yeshiva in Samaria, and one was arrested in Modiin.

It is usual practice for the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to interrogate its detainees without legal presence in the room for a much longer time than the police would have in an ordinary criminal case. This has led to accusations of torture by alleged security offenders, both Arab and Jewish.

Most recently, in the alleged “Jewish terror” case regarding a home that was firebombed in the Arab town of Duma, the confession of a minor was partially thrown out due to the techniques used by the questioners.

No other details about the current case are forthcoming, as there is a gag order in place. Two of the youths, however, are being represented by lawyers from Honenu, a non-profit legal aid organization providing assistance to “soldiers and citizens, who at times due to the security situation are persecuted by certain government authorities and a court system heavily influenced and pressured by anti-Israel ‘human rights’ groups.”

One of the lawyers, Itamar Ben Gvir, whose petition to see his client was denied in the Monday ruling, was incensed at the arrest on the previous day and worried about his client’s health in the hands of the Shin Bet.

“Only last week, Uvda [current affairs TV program] revealed shocking and dreadful recordings of police officers abusing a minor – hurting, starving, threatening him and using harsh manipulations to force a confession. It proves that the Jewish section of the Shin Bet investigates hilltop youths in an aggressive and problematic manner that makes it impossible to find the truth, only at most to extract false confessions,” Ben Gvir charged after the arrests.