Shin Bet partially lifts gag order on ‘Jewish terror’ suspects; rabbis demand immediate release

Hundreds of demonstrators outside the Prime Minister’s Residence protested against the continuing detention of “Jewish terror” suspects. 

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News 

A gag order was partially lifted Sunday afternoon on a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation into alleged Jewish terror, and security services began releasing information.

The agency said that some of the Jewish teens arrested and questioned over the past week are suspects in the murder of a Palestinian woman, Aysha Ravi, who was pelted with stones while driving her car near the Tapuah junction in Samaria and killed on October 12. The 47-year-old Ravi was said to be driving her car with her husband alongside her and was injured when a large stone hit her in the head. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

The boys are suspected of “terror offenses, including murder,” the Shin Bet said.

The Shin Bet says that on Saturday morning after the Friday night attack, a group of activists from nearby Yitzhar drove to the yeshiva — violating religious laws that prohibit driving on the Sabbath — in order to coach students they suspected were involved in the incident on how to withstand Shin Bet interrogations.

The Shin Bet said that the five Jewish minors who have been arrested to date, three last Sunday and two more in recent days, are also suspected of other Jewish terror offenses. A statement from the Shin Bet said that the minors are students at the Pri Haaretz Yeshiva, located near where the attack took place.

Protest outside PM’s office

Hundreds of people, including a broad alliance of rabbis, protested Saturday night outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem against the continuing detention of the five Jewish teens held by the Shin Bet.

The rabbis in attendance ranged from the likes of Rabbi Yehuda Gilad, a former Labor Party MK, to Yossi Dagan, Samaria Regional Council chairman.

In a video played at the demonstration, leading Religious-Zionist Rabbi Haim Druckman called on the government to release the suspects. “I call from the bottom of my heart on the prime minister to order the release of these boys,” Druckman said.

“If there is any problem, it should be investigated as anyone is in the State of Israel, but under no circumstances in the basement of the Shin Bet,” he said. “They are not terrorists. I am worried about the proper and just conduct of the State of Israel.”

Dagan told the gathering: “We have come here to tell the prime minister and the justice minister that we live in a democratic state. I call upon the prime minister and cabinet ministers to intervene. We demand the right to an attorney and the prevention of torture like any other citizen.”

Lawyers for the first three teens arrested in the investigation say that they met with their clients on Saturday night. It was the first time since they were arrested at the beginning of last week.

The mother of one of five teens detained as part of the investigation addressed the crowd. “From the day our son was arrested, we have been flooded with appeals of love and also great shock,” she said. “Prime minister, I am addressing you as a mother — this is happening on your watch, stop the injustice.”

Police said that they had arrested one person at the protest after scuffles broke out with demonstrators.

Itamar Ben Gvir, who is representing one of the suspects, claimed that the Shin Bet agents were likely torturing his client in detention in order to extract a false confession. After the gag order was lifted and the Shin Bet began releasing information concerning the investigation, Ben Gvir remained undaunted as he spoke to reporters, insisting that the Shin Bet case was “coming apart.”