Shin Bet announces new ‘development’ in Duma arson investigation

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — There is a new “development” in the investigation into an arson attack that killed three members of a Palestinian family, the Shin Bet security service announced.

No other details were disclosed by the Israeli media, since a gag order has been placed on the investigation.

The announcement of a new development in the investigation of the attack, which is believed to have been perpetrated by extremist Jewish terrorists, came on Sunday amid accusations that several Jewish suspects, who are are being held without formal charges in administrative detention, a practice generally limited to terror cases, have been physically abused during interrogations. The Shin Bet responded late last week to the torture charges saying in a statement that the suspects were not tortured, but rather were “interrogated in an intensive way with regards to the suspicions against them.”

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled last week that three of those arrested in connection with the attack could be prevented from seeing their attorneys, which the Shin Bet said could harm the investigation.

It is not clear how many suspects have been detained for alleged involvement in the terror attack. According to Haaretz, at least four of the detained are citizens not just of Israel but of English-speaking countries. One has Australian citizenship, while the other three have U.S. citizenship.

On Saturday night, over 500 right-wing activists demonstrated outside the Jerusalem home of Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, in protest against what they called the torture of the suspects.

The July 31 firebombing in the Palestinian village of Duma killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh and his parents, Saad and Reham. The one surviving member of the family, Ahmed, 4, is still undergoing treatment in an Israeli hospital.

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