Request denied: Ben-Gvir says Arab MK can’t visit Burqa suspects

Terrorist-praising MK rages after he’s denied visit to Palestinians accused of involvement in deadly clash with Jews.

By World Israel News Staff

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced on Wednesday morning that he denied a request from an Arab MK to visit Palestinian detainees who are currently being held by authorities after a rock-throwing incident turned deadly.

Several Palestinians have been arrested on suspicion of participating in clashes near the city of Burqa, with two Jewish men also detained over the incident.

In a brief letter, Ben-Gvir wrote to MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) that he will not be permitted to visit the detained Palestinians, following a consultation with the head of the security forces currently leading the investigation.

Ben-Gvir’s decision came several weeks after he rejected a different request from Tibi to visit an incarcerated terrorist, Walid Dakaa.

Tibi raged against the decision, telling Hebrew-language media that as a member of the Knesset, his parliamentary immunity ensures he can visit any detainee in the state.

It’s unclear if Tibi’s assertion actually has a basis in Israeli law, as both Jewish and Arab MKs have been denied the right to visit prisoners if there are national security concerns at play.

Ben-Gvir and Tibi have a long history of bad blood between them. In June 2022, Tibi and his party colleague, MK Osama Saa’di, aggressively charged at Ben-Gvir in the Knesset plenum during a contentious vote on the death penalty for terrorists.

Last week, Yechiel Indor, a Jewish man, shot dead 18-year-old Palestinian Qusai Jamal Maatan after a violent clash between settlers and Palestinians from the nearby village of Burqa.

Maatan was said to have hurled a massive rock at Indor’s head, seriously wounding him. Indore then managed to fatally shoot Maatan in what he and numerous MKs have said was an act of self-defense.

Despite being hospitalized and undergoing surgery, Indor is technically under arrest, with police officers stationed in his hospital room around-the-clock.

His friend, Elisha Yered, was also detained. A local court ordered that Yered be released to house arrest on Tuesday morning.

A judge called the police’s allegations that Yered interfered with the investigation “very weak” and slammed authorities for detaining him for several days, suggesting they had no grounds to do so.

The state prosecutor’s office then appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court froze Yered’s release for almost 24 hours, though he was eventually sent home late Wednesday afternoon.

The Biden administration, however, described the shooting as a “terror attack.”

Washington used language equating the shooting of the man who had thrown the rock and seriously wounded Indor with a deadly terror attack on Saturday, in which a Palestinian illegally infiltrated Israel and shot a patrolman at point-blank range in the heart of Tel Aviv.