Israel’s domestic security service the Shin Bet defended its conduct yesterday, following claims the agency has violated the rights of five Jewish Israelis suspected of involvement in the murder of Palestinian woman Aisha Mohammed Al-Rabi last October.
According to Haaretz, the Shin Bet statement described the criticism as “a de-legitimisation campaign by people with interests”, adding that the suspects were “anti-Zionist and extreme”.
The statement was distributed along with “pictures of an Israeli flag with ‘death to Zionists’ scrawled on it alongside a swastika”.
Rabi, 47, and her husband Yacoub “were driving near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nablus when a group of settlers threw stones at their car”, Haaretz reported. “Rabi was reportedly struck in the head with a stone and died shortly after. Her husband was lightly wounded”.
Earlier yesterday, the Shin Bet announced that five Jewish teenagers had been arrested in relation to the fatal attack, all students at the Pri Ha’aretz religious school in the West Bank settlement of Rehelim.
According to the Shin Bet, “the morning after the attack, on Saturday, October 13, several far-right activists from the settlement of Yitzhar drove to Rehelim and instructed students at the yeshiva on how to deal with an upcoming Shin Bet investigation.”
Haaretz added that “despite being initially interrogated without an attorney present, the teens’ lawyers, who met with them for the first time Saturday, said the teens told them they did not admit to being involved in the murder and denied all the allegations”.
Meanwhile, “the other two teens have still not met a lawyer”.
The Shin Bet also said: “The suspects receive all their rights under the law. the claim that their rights were withheld in violation of the law are baseless. Over the past year, the Shin Bet has prevented hundreds of terror attacks in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank], including Jewish terror.”