Middle East Monitor / February 13, 2020
The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, has issued a “rare public attack” on Defence Minister Naftali Bennett, reported The Jerusalem Post, over the cancellation of an administrative detention order for a radical Jewish Israeli right-wing activist.
According to the paper, the Shin Bet told Channel 12 that Bennett’s decision to rescind the order “had given a green light to Jewish terror like the 2015 arson murder of a Palestinian family at Duma”.
Bennett “issued the unusual detention order on Monday, but by Tuesday had cancelled it.”
The Jerusalem Post noted that “the defence minister defended his actions as having occurred after a more careful review of the case”, but added that “based on the timing, it appeared that Bennett cancelled the detention order following political pressure from his right-wing camp”.
The paper asked Bennett late Tuesday night “to explain whether he had properly reviewed the evidence when signing the administrative detention order, or whether he had folded to political pressure”, but a spokesperson “declined to elaborate beyond the initial response”.
To the best of the Jerusalem Post’s knowledge, “no order has ever been cancelled within less than 48 hours of being signed”. Most such – renewable – orders typically run for three to six months.
The Shin Bet’s spokesperson “declined to comment officially”, the report added.
Last night, Bennett told a Yamina party meeting that the suspect “wasn’t a ticking time bomb”, but acknowledged he had carried out “severe acts”, urging Shin Bet to indict the youth.
Bennett also criticised the Shin Bet for making its criticism public, stating: “As defence minister and someone entrusted with the security of everyone, I am not the rubber stamp of anyone.”