Netanyahu Denounces 'Attacks' on Shin Bet Amid Claims It Tortured Duma Suspects

After Naftali Bennett shows support and says he trusts the Shin Bet, Netanyahu agrees and says all its actions were legal.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Relatives and friends of Saad Dawabsha, who was killed in the Duma arson attack, react upon hearing the news of his death, August 8, 2015.
Relatives and friends of Saad Dawabsha, who was killed in the Duma arson attack, react upon hearing the news of his death, August 8, 2015.Credit: AFP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Tuesday to claims that Shin Bet security service investigators tortured the suspects in the arson murder in the village of Duma last summer, saying that "all the Shin Bet's activities are carried out according to law and under the close supervision of the attorney general and the Justice Ministry, of the courts, and with their approval."

"The head of the Shin Bet, Yoram Cohen, and his staff are doing important work," he said, later adding, "The attacks on them are unacceptable to me."

Speaking before a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Netanyahu said, "We are nation of law. There is Arab terror we are dealing with, fighting it day and night on every front, but to my sorrow from time to time there are terrorist acts committed by Jews too, and the Shin Bet deals with them too. We will not accept terror from any side."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett commented earlier about the Duma case on his Facebook page, saying "we must not discount what is happening in before us – not the "price tag" stories, not the story of the murder in Duma and not the murder of the child in Jerusalem. It does not happen by itself."

"When a family is burned in its sleep – this is a terrorist incident. In a terrorist incident everything is done to catch those responsible. Everything within the limits of the law, and so according to an examination I conducted, things were done in such a way. And like I trust the Shin Bet when it pursues the murderers of Jews – I trust [the Shin Bet] in this case too," wrote Bennett.

On Monday, Netanyahu spoke about the case too, saying the Shin Bet investigators did not violate any rules. Netanyahu said he is unable to go into details of the investigation, but he expressed his support for the Shin Bet investigators. "The law is the same law for Jews, Arabs, Christians and Circassians. We must deviate from it. I am not talking only about the case of Duma, but beyond that I cannot say more. We have an interest in preventing repetition of such incidents and a common interest for all of us, and we are doing so in a legal, wise, and controlled fashion," said Netanyahu.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Tuesday about the attack on the Shin Bet, saying whoever provides support for those attacking the Shin Bet and those serving in it, are spreading lies and inciting the public against the defense establishment – and are indirectly responsible for acts of lawlessness by marginal figures.

Ya'alon said he has full faith in the head of the Shin Bet Yoram Cohen and the entire service, and gives him his complete support in the face of the despicable attacks they have experienced in the past few days. Ya'alon added that the attempts to attack the Shin Bet are based on "crude lies, are deceiving the public and are dangerous and irresponsible manipulations ; and they are coming from lawyers and to my great regret from ministers, Knesset members and elected officials too." Ya'alon accused those who spread these lies against the Shin Bet and security authorities of being indirectly responsible for such illegal acts by marginal groups. If those who carry out such terror attacks are not brought to justice, they may very well carry out further terrorist acts that murder innocent people, and set the region on fire, he said.

Ya'alon came to the defense of the coordinator of government activities in the territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai too, calling the attacks on Mordechai a "slander campaign."

He said if any group has any complaints against Mordechai, "they are invited to send them to me, and not to attack an officer in uniform subordinate to the political leadership; who is busy with defending the security of the country and is unable to respond," said Ya'alon.

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