Israel could use detention without trial to try to stem Arab crime – reports
In an attempt to tackle the ongoing violence and crime in Israel’s Arab community, Israeli Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai is personally pushing to allow the use of controversial and wide-ranging measures used only by the Israeli security service. Shin Bet, according to information released on Sunday.
Hebrew-language television networks said Shabtai wanted police allowed to use administrative detentions – a controversial measure commonly deployed against Palestinians suspected of terrorism in the West Bank, as well as extremist settlers – against Israeli Arabs.
However, Israel has never used this measure to fight crime.
Israeli security officials have defended the measure amid the Palestinian unrest, arguing that in some cases the publication of an indictment could force them to reveal sensitive security information. Palestinians and international rights groups criticized him, however, saying Israel is abusing him.
“In an emergency, emergency measures must be taken,” a law enforcement official told Channel 12.
Separately, Shabtai is also seeking permission to deny detainees access to a lawyer, Channel 12 reported. Police officials told the network that such sanctions would only be used in extreme cases, with the approval of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.
Public broadcaster Kan cited sources as saying that under the new plan, police will arrest murder suspects – even if they don’t have enough evidence to charge them – as well as people they suspect of planning. a murder.
The report added that the new plan was being put forward by the government and law enforcement officials, although some cabinet ministers strongly opposed it. He said Mandelblit and Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut participated in the debate.
According to Haaretz, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and Yoav Segalovitz – who has been appointed to head a government task force aimed at finding a solution to the ongoing crime – did not participate in discussions surrounding the use of administrative detentions.
Also according to Haaretz, the rest of Israel’s security establishment does not support Shabtai’s desire to implement such a measure, adding that he has many legal issues.
“It has no place in a democracy,” Meretz MP Mossi Raz tweeted on Sunday. “I am opposed to administrative detentions in the occupied territories. We will not allow them to infiltrate Israel, ”he added.
The government has previously been criticized for offering to enlist the Shin Bet internal security service in law enforcement activities. It is not yet clear to what extent the agency would be used to curb the ongoing violence.
Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man was shot dead at his home in the village of Ilut, in the north of the country on Saturday evening, apparently as a result of stray gunfire, becoming the 97th apparent homicide victim in the community Arab in 2021, according to a tally. by the Abraham Initiatives association.
The organization said 80 of those killed this year were victims of gun violence.
Violent crime has reached record levels in Arab communities in recent years.
Authorities pledged to devote more resources to tackling crime in Arab localities, after a series of recent shootings sparked the #Arab_Lives_Matter online campaign to protest the alleged lack of police action.
According to a 2020 Knesset report, some 400,000 illegal weapons are circulating in Israel, the vast majority in Arab communities.
Arab Israelis blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia wars and violence against women.
Government officials and civil society experts say the violence is the product of decades of state neglect. More than half of Israeli Arabs live below the poverty line. Their towns and villages often have crumbling infrastructure, poor public services and few job prospects, leading some young people to collaborate with organized crime.