Terror Suspect Entered Shin Bet Custody Healthy, Next Morning Was in Critical Condition

The head of the cell suspected of murdering Rina Shnerb, Samer Arbid, was examined by a doctor at 6:21 P.M. and found healthy. At 7:10 A.M. he was rushed to the hospital

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Israeli police detain a woman during a protest outside a hospital in Jerusalem where Samir Arbid is being treated, October 1, 2019.
Israeli police detain a woman during a protest outside a hospital in Jerusalem where Samir Arbid is being treated, October 1, 2019.Credit: Mahmoud Illean,AP
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

The head of the Popular Front cell suspected of murdering teenager Rina Shnerb, Samer Arbid, was examined when he went into custody, and was found to be healthy. But the next day, he emerged critically injured, with a suspected heart attack, fractures in his ribs and multiple signs of injury, according to medical documents obtained by Haaretz.

The documents describe the rapid deterioration of Arbid’s condition, which led to kidney failure and had him put on life support.

Arbid, who regained full consciousness three weeks ago, was transferred to a Prison Service and Shin Bet medical facility on Thursday morning, where his interrogation resumed.

The IDF and Shin Bet arrested Arbid on September 25, a month after the attack on Ein Dani spring. He was put in custody in Jerusalem’s Migrash Harusim compound, where Shin Bet officers interrogated him. The doctor who examined Arbid on September 26 at 1:25 A.M. did not report irregular findings. He wrote that Arbid, 44, was “generally healthy,” that his general condition was “reasonable” and there were no signs of injury on his body.

That morning the suspect was moved to Ofer prison, where he was examined at 10:55 A.M. by another doctor. Arbid complained of throat ache and general weakness, but apart from that the doctor didn’t record any unusual findings. The same doctor examined Aribd at 6:21 P.M. and found no unusual signs this time either. Then Arbid was returned to the compound.

In a document filled in by a Prison Service doctor the next day at 7:10 A.M., he wrote that Arbid arrived in a wheelchair, had seemingly had a heart attack and was rushed to Hadassa Hospital at Mount Scopus in critical condition.

There they found numerous fractures in his limbs, neck and chest. The unit that looks into complaints by suspects under investigation is examining what happened to Arbid. Officials are looking int othe extent of the violence used against Arbid during his interrogation, the hospital's medical reports, and his condition after the interrogation. When the probe is complete, the unit will submit its recommendations to the state prosecutor and attorney general, who will then decide whether to open an investigation against the Shin Bet employees who interrogated Arbid.

Arbid’s lawyer said he had been beaten in custody and taken to interrogation without seeing a lawyer.

The Shin Bet said that the investigation into the attack in which Shnerb was murdered indicated that Arbid was one of the leaders of the terror cell that carried out the attack. He himself prepared the explosive charge and detonated it when the Shnerb family came to the site.

The investigation revealed that the cell, which belongs to the Popular Front terror organization, planned on carrying out additional attacks and had all the necessary means at its disposal to do so. During the investigation, weapons and explosives were captured, which were to be used for murderous attacks.

The swift apprehension of the cell members, their investigation – with an emphasis on Samer Arbid, and the information it yielded, led to foiling other planned attacks and to saved lives.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 47Credit: Haaretz

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