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Israel could use detentions without trial, in bid to stem Arab crime – report

Israel could start holding citizens without trial in its effort to stem raging crime in the Arab Israeli community, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The controversial tool — known as administrative detention — has long been used against Palestinian terror suspects as well as a smaller number of Jewish extremists in the West Bank.

However, Israel has not employed it to fight crime.

Israeli security officials defend the measure in the context of Palestinian unrest, arguing that in some cases, issuing an indictment could force them to reveal sensitive security information.

Palestinians and international rights groups, however, have criticized it, contending that Israel abuses it.

Kan reports that the new plan is being advanced by government and law enforcement officials, though some cabinet ministers are fiercely opposed.

It says that Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit are also participating in the debate.

The report quotes sources as saying that, under the emerging plan, police would arrest murder suspects — even if they do not have enough evidence to charge them — along with people whom they suspect of planning a murder.

The government has already come under fire for proposing to enlist the Shin Bet domestic security service in law enforcement activities.

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