Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday rejected allegations that Jewish suspects in a West Bank terror attack had been tortured, telling Knesset members all Shin Bet investigations were being conducted “in accordance with the law.”
“The law is the same for Jews, Arabs, Christians and Circassians. Heaven forbid that we deviate from it,” Netanyahu said during a meeting of his Likud party’s Knesset faction, according to Israel’s Haaretz daily.
Likud Member of Knesset Miki Zohar told the prime minister during the meeting that there have been accusations that the Shin Bet security service tortured suspects during the investigation into the murders of the Dawabsha family, whose home in the West Bank village of Duma was firebombed in July. An 18-month-old infant and his two parents died in the attack, while his four-year-old brother was severely burned.
“Check out what’s happening,” the MK instructed Netanyahu.
In response, the prime minister told those present: “All investigations are carried out in accordance with the law, under the supervision of the attorney general and the courts. That’s how it happens. Despite the assertions, no one has deviated from the rules, which are overseen by the courts system.”
During a press conference on Thursday, the suspects’ attorneys accused the security service of “outrageous physical violence.
“The Shin Bet investigators are allowing themselves to abuse and strike the youth. I understand that the investigators want to arrive at their goal, but there’s a limit,” said the lawyers, all from the Honenu organization, which principally handles cases of Israelis accused of nationalistic crimes.
The Shin Bet, which normally remains silent in such cases, spoke out against the accusations and blasted Jewish terror groups, especially the suspects’ extremist organization, saying they were “anti-Zionist.”
Though the internal security agency would not divulge details of the case, the Shin Bet’s statement made it clear that those in custody were being held in connection with the Duma attack.
Netanyahu would also not discuss the ongoing investigation in depth, as the case is under a gag order. However, he said, “We have an interest in preventing the recurrence of incidents like this. We are doing everything legally and completely under supervision and control.”