The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, responded on Thursday to protests over its handling of the Duma case with a dire warning of an existential threat to Israel’s existence if alleged right-wing terrorists are not dealt with effectively.
The Shin Beit charged in a statement that the suspects currently being interrogated are part of a terrorist organization dedicated to the violent overthrow of the state of Israel. They say that three Palestinians have been killed by Jewish terrorists in an attempt to cause widespread disorders and destabilize the state.
The security agency categorically denied claims that it had used torture in questioning the suspects, insisting that its methods have been in accordance with legal restraints.
The false claims, it asserted, are part of a strategy. “Extreme right-wing activists and their lawyers are trying to distract the public and legal attention from severe acts of terror committed by the said organization, and shift it to the legitimacy of an investigation to uncover their acts.”
Meanwhile on Thursday, a video showing a wedding at which right-wing youth brandishing weapons were celebrating the the killings of the Dawabsha family in Duma drew condemnations from Israeli officials.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu characterized the sight as “shocking.” Earlier in the week, he and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon defended the Shin Bet’s conduct of the investigation.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog termed the revelers “maniacs” and “lowlifes.”
“Those who dance at a wedding and celebrate the death of a baby in his sleep…should be locked up as soon as possible.”
In a statement, the Joint List of Arab parties said the Israeli government and defense minister, “who let the settlers attack Palestinians without facing punishment, are the first ones to blame for this terror network.”
Right-wing leaders distanced themselves from the incident. Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett “The vision of the murderers in Duma is the opposite view from that of religious Zionism,” Bennett declared.
Agriculture Minister Ariel (Jewish Home), an outspoken supporter of the communities in Yehuda and Shomron, condemned it, as well:
“The clip is shocking and one cannot allow the activity of radical groups fueled by hate,” Ariel wrote online.
Jewish Home may have little influence on this violent element, however.
Bennett told Army Radio that protesters outside of his home called him a “traitor” for speaking out against violence.
Bennett called critics of the Shin Bet in the case “hypocrites” who are supporting “terrorists” dedicated to “dismantling the foundations of the state.”
“As part of my position as education minister, I reach out my hand to pull out these confused youth from the trap into which they have been led,” he said. “But of course, whoever is involved in murder — it’s not a matter of education anymore but rather a matter of terror, and [they must be dealt with] with the firmest hand.”