While attending his father’s speech Friday at United Nations headquarters in New York, Yair Netanyahu shared a social media post against the imprisonment of a Jewish terrorist convicted of murdering three members of a Palestinian family by firebombing their home in a West Bank village in 2015.
The retweet by Yair Netanyahu came amid increasingly vocal advocacy by far-right coalition figures on behalf of Amiram Ben Uliel, who is serving three life sentences plus 20 years for the arson attack in Duma, in which Riham and Saad Dawabsha were killed along with their 18-month-old son, Ali Saad. Only the couple’s 5-year-old son, Ahmed, survived the terror attack, with extensive burns.
Ben Uliel was found guilty in 2020 of three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, arson, and conspiring to commit a racially motivated crime, as part of a “terrorist act.”
Supporters of Ben Uliel have objected to the verdict primarily because his confession was obtained using what the Shin Bet calls “special measures” — decried as torture by him and by rights groups. He is believed to be one of the first Israeli Jews subject to such an interrogation by the Shin Bet, though the same tactics are widely believed to have been long used against Palestinians.
“It’s so very simple. A principle that differentiates between monsters and humans. You don’t put a human being in prison based on a confession obtained through torture. What’s so complicated?” read the post shared by Netanyahu, referencing the enhanced interrogation that Amiram Ben Uliel endured before he confessed to the crime.
In the original tweet, the pro-Netanyahu X also cast doubt on Ben Uliel’s guilt, seeming to dismiss his recollection of accurate details from the firebombing that the prosecutors had not been aware of until his confession.
“After two minutes of torture you too would sing whatever they’d ask you to,” the user who goes by Tsahi wrote in the post shared by the prime minister’s son, who was photographed with his parents at the UN shortly before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the assembly.
דקות לפני נאום רהמ, יאיר נתניהו נמצא לצידו ומצייץ ציוץ מחדש של תכנים המטילים ספק בהרשעת רוצח משפחת דוואבשה. בינתיים הוא צמוד להורים. לפני יומיים אמר גורם מדיני בכיר שראש הממשלה אינו מודע לקמפיין הציבורי בעד בן אוליאל pic.twitter.com/40ZDqpbdGR
— Tal Schneider טל שניידר تال شنايدر (@talschneider) September 22, 2023
Yair Netanyahu has a history of posting incendiary messages on social media, leading to a report in April that the premier had demanded he stop posting amid accusations he was inflaming tensions in Israel and exacerbating a diplomatic rift with the United States.
His sharing of the post Friday came a day after a fundraising campaign aimed at freeing Ben Uliel from prison brought in over NIS 1 million ($262,000).
The drive to have his conviction quashed, titled “Amiram also deserves justice,” gained headlines earlier this week when far-right Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Son Har-Melech spoke at a fundraising event for the campaign, insisting Ben Uliel was innocent and describing him as a “holy righteous man.”
Last week, Har-Melech was one of 14 coalition lawmakers — more than half of them from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party — who appealed to Shin Bet security chief Ronen Bar for Ben Uliel’s incarceration conditions to be eased, claiming he was being held “under the most difficult incarceration conditions in the State of Israel.”
Prison officials approved Ben Uliel’s transfer to the “Torah wing” for Rosh Hashanah over the weekend, before moving him back to solitary confinement.