'Stay Strong': Israeli Justice Minister Calls Mother of Jewish Terror Suspect

Ayelet Shaked told the mother she spoke with state prosecutor about the decision to ban her son and two other suspects from consulting lawyers

File photo: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked during a legal conference in Haifa, January 3, 2018.
Eran Gilwarg

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Thursday told the mother of a Jewish minor suspected of involvement in a terror plot that she had discussed his case with State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan. The minor, one of three arrested on Sunday, has not been allowed to consult with an attorney since his arrest by the Shin Bet security service and police forces.

In a telephone conversation first reported by Artuz Sheva and public broadcaster Kan, Shaked told the mother: "I've spoken to the state prosecutor twice. I can't interfere with the investigation and I don't even know the details."

A gag order prohibits the publication of any details concerning the investigation or the suspects. 

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The call was held during a court discussion, in which the Lod District Court rejected the suspects' appeal against a decision to ban them from seeing their lawyers.

"I've made the point clear to him and he made sure the district prosecutor follows (the case) in person and reports to him," Shaked added. "They've highlighted it and are well aware of it."

"We're truly begging, you can bring Nitzan to you and demand him our children see a lawyer," the mother told Shaked. "How can it be that in the State of Israel, a well-run country, our children, 16 years old, minors, haven't seen a lawyer yet?"

The lawyers representing the suspects are extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir and Nati Rom and Adi Kedar of the Honenu NGO, which provides legal aid to Jewish terror suspects.

The mother asked Shaked to "go, bang the table for me," to which the minister replied: "I promise you I'll speak to Nitzan today, okay? Just stay strong and update me of any good news tomorrow."

Shaked's office said that "Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked spoke to the mother of one of the arrested minors, at the mother's request," adding that "the justice minister puts an emphasis on the rights of detainees and defendants."

"Minister Shaked has told the mother that she spoke to State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan about the matter, said everything was conducted under the prosecution's supervision and wished her to stay strong," her office added. "The minister emphasized that investigations are not under her authority."

Shaked's office also said it "regrets that telephone conversations with the minister are leaked to the media. This doesn't show innocence."