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Shin Bet agents cleared of wrongdoing in cavity search of Palestinian woman

Prosecution finds lack of evidence in identifying who gave order for examination of suspect during operation in Hebron in 2015

Israeli soldiers carry out searches for terror suspects in the West Bank on December 14, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Israeli soldiers carry out searches for terror suspects in the West Bank on December 14, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Prosecutors on Wednesday closed the case against three Shin Bet agents suspected of ordering female soldiers to perform a cavity search on a Palestinian woman under questionable circumstances, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

That the search took place is not under dispute, but who exactly ordered it could not be established, with all involved denying responsibility.

Deputy State Prosecutor Nurit Litman accepted a recommendation by prosecution staff and the Police Internal Investigations Department — which is authorized to probe Shin Bet actions — that the case be closed due to lack of evidence.

Prosecutors found they could not gather enough evidence to indict any specific person in the case.

However, Litman recommended that the Shin Bet take appropriate disciplinary action against two agents involved in the incident. A third agent was already disciplined in 2019.

Litman noted that although there was no intention to harm the Palestinian detainee, the actions by those involved did not meet the standards expected of them and that the search of the woman “substantially harmed her dignity and privacy.”

The incident took place in 2015 when a joint IDF and Shin Bet operation detained the woman at her home over suspicions she was a member of a Hamas terror cell. The cavity search was supposedly ordered to find a sim card the woman was allegedly using to contact Hamas officials. One of the two IDF female soldiers who carried out the search was a doctor.

The woman eventually served two years in prison for aiding a terror organization.

After her release she left the country and lives abroad, Haaretz reported in 2018.

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