Jewish extremists face ‘administrative detention’ in wake of Palestinian toddler killing

WATCH ABOVE: An 18-month-old Palestinian boy was burned to death when masked men set fire to his family’s home in the middle of the night. Emily Elias reports

The killing of a Palestinian toddler has prompted the Israeli government to consider harsher measures to detain Israeli’s suspected of carrying out extremist attacks — including methods currently used on Palestinians accused of terrorism.

Israeli Interior Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Monday “any method is kosher” to deal with far-right Jewish groups and militants, including a harsh interrogation method.

“An interrogation method like ’tiltul’, or anything that is done when it comes to Palestinian terrorists — the same thing should be done when it comes to a Jewish terrorist,” Reuters reported Erdan telling Israel Radio.

According to Reuters, “titul” is the “Hebrew term for violently shaking a suspect.” Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, has used shaking as an interrogation technique against Palestinian suspects until the country’s Supreme Court limited its use in 1999.

Story continues below advertisement

Erdan’s comments followed an Israeli government move to use “administrative detention” to hold suspected Jewish extremists without trial. The move comes after the murder of a 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha in an arson attack on a West Bank home early Friday. The boy’s parents and four-year-old brother survived but suffered extensive burns.

READ MORE: Palestinian child ‘burned to ash’ in suspected ‘price tag’ terror attack

While no group or individuals have claimed responsibility for the attack, the home of the Dawabsha family was spray painted with a Star of David and the word “revenge” in Hebrew.

“The [security] cabinet views the arson and murder in Duma as a terrorist act in every sense of the term,” the Israeli government said in a statement on Sunday.

Israel’s security cabinet ordered “all necessary steps” to be taken to track down the suspects in the firebombing and to take measures to stop further attacks like it from happening, the Jerusalem Post reported. Those steps include administrative detention — something that has previously only been used against Palestinians whom Israeli authorities have suspected of terrorist acts.

READ MORE: Israel passes law to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike

“Administrative detention allows for arrests without charges and enables the incarceration of suspects for undefined periods of time without sufficient evidence to try them,” the Guardian reported. “It theoretically allows investigators to gather evidence while preventing further attacks, but Israel has been accused of abusing the procedure to keep militants behind bars without trial.”

Story continues below advertisement

Although suspects could be jailed without trial, the action would require court approval, a spokesperson for Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told theGuardian.

Human rights groups have criticized Israel for using administrative detention against Palestinians.

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reported 370 Palestinians were held in custody under administrative detention as of June.

An Israeli opposition Member of Knesset warned administrative detention “negate due process of law.”

“Holding people without trial opens the door to very flagrant abuses of human rights,” Zahava Galon told The Independent.

But the Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been under pressure to deal with far-right Jewish extremism following the killing of Dawabsha and fatal stabbing spree at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade Thursday evening.

READ MORE: Six people stabbed at Jerusalem’s annual gay pride parade

An ultra-orthodox Jewish man identified as Yishai Schlissel, who had recently been released from prison after a 10-year sentence for stabbing three people at the 2005 pride parade, is accused of stabbing six people at Thursday’s march.

One of the victims, 16-year-old Shira Banki, died from her injuries on Sunday.

Story continues below advertisement

Sponsored content