‘Great injustice’: Rabbi calls to reexamine conviction of ‘Jewish terrorist’

During a recent appeal, the Supreme Court acknowledged that Ben Uliel’s confession was obtained under torture but ruled that it was admissible evidence in his case nonetheless.

By World Israel News Staff

A leading Religious Zionist rabbi called for the reexamination of a Jewish terror suspect’s conviction – which security agencies admit was obtained under torture – and for the authorities to ease the conditions of his incarceration.

In 2020, Amiram Ben Uliel was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus an additional 20 years for the 2015 firebombing of a Palestinian family home in Duma that killed three people.

However, serious questions have been raised regarding Ben Uliel’s guilt in the case, notably that he was tortured for days by the Shin Bet before confessing. Ben Uliel has consistently maintained his innocence since his initial confession, which he swiftly recanted.

Rabbi Tzvi Kostiner, who heads the pre-army Midbara K’Eden Yeshiva in Mitzpe Ramon, affiliated with the Religious Zionism movement, said he believes Ben Uliel is innocent.

Ben Uliel “didn’t do anything,” Kostiner said during a clip filmed at a rally supporting the convict. He added that “even if” Ben Uliel was guilty, the harsh conditions of his incarceration are disproportionate considering his crime.

Since his arrest, Ben Uliel has been kept in the strictest possible detention conditions. In solitary confinement, he has asked to participate in Jewish communal life with other prisoners or to be moved to a wing for religiously observant prisoners. Both of those requests have been denied.

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“I call on everybody, let’s end this evil and do the biggest justice and release him,” the rabbi stated.

During a recent appeal, the Supreme Court acknowledged that Ben Uliel’s confession was obtained under torture but ruled that it was admissible evidence in his case.

That decision sparked criticism from MK and legal scholar Simcha Rothman, who said that the decision to legitimize a confession obtained under torture sets a dangerous precedent for Israel’s criminal justice system.

Labor party head Merav Michaeli slammed Kostiner for his statements. “This is what supporters of Jewish terror look like,” she wrote on Twitter, adding that Kostiner is “an inciter” and “full of poison.”