Pearlman Claims Shin Bet Asked Him to Assassinate Sheikh Ra'ad Salah

Prior to his arrest, Shin Bet agents from the Jewish Division met with Chaim Pearlman and tried to encourage him to murder the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheik Ra'ad Salah, he claims.

At left, Chaim Pearlman speaking to Channel 2 News yesterday. At right, the suspect’s attorney Adi K
Olivier Fitoussi

Friends of the detained far-right activist, along with his defense attorney, Adi Keidar, said the Shin Bet had tried to lure him into carrying out actions that "crossed red lines."

The meetings began several months ago, Pearlman's friends told television reporters, when Pearlman was in dire financial straits.

Members of the Shin Bet contacted him, and gave him several hundred shekels after each meeting.

"They left NIS 800 on the table. That went on for five meetings," Pearlman was quoted as saying.

At some point he was asked for information about the Jewish underground. Pearlman was quoted as saying, "I told them there was some guy who stabs Arabs. They asked, 'How many?' I said 10 Arabs. This was information that was in the papers ... I gave them rubbish. I needed the money, I was in a poor psychological state."

Pearlman said he felt like his life had turned into a movie. "Everything was orchestrated and they were trying to pin something on me," he was quoted as saying.

From Kach member to hanging flyers

When he decided to break off contact with the agents, Pearlman found work hanging flyers. As a member of Kach, he had done quite a bit of this. A guy who identified himself as Dada contacted him, but Pearlman became suspicious because Dada had no idea how to hang flyers. Dada then asked him to work with him catching stray dogs in Ashkelon.

Pearlman said that Dada worked for the Shin Bet, and that he tried to get him involved in violence, including murdering Salah. Pearlman recorded all his conversations with Dada, and claims to have 20 hours of recordings.

In one recording, Dada and Pearlman are heard talking:

Dada: Why didn't you take those people to that nice village to do a fireworks display?

Pearlman: The Shin Bet is everywhere.

Dada: What does its matter where the Shin Bet is if you are with the right people?

Pearlman: People are constantly under surveillance, wiretaps and investigations.

Dada: No one said to take a telephone with you. Go to one of the villages in the north, one like Ra'ad Salah's, it should not be a problem. A car passing by, you let a burst rip and the chances are that the driver will be killed. You unload the magazine or drop a bomb in the car.

Pearlman: [no answer]

When Pearlman realized his contact was trouble, he decided to go to the press. On Sunday he was interviewed on television. On Tuesday night, he was arrested.

His friends said yesterday that the arrest is the Shin Bet's way of revenge.

The Shin Bet responded that an announcement will be made, as is customary, through the defense correspondents.