Shin Bet informants 'leading serious violence in Palestinian communities', senior Israeli police officer says

Shin Bet informants 'leading serious violence in Palestinian communities', senior Israeli police officer says
A senior Israeli police officer has claimed that immunity given to Shin Bet informants is hampering police efforts to prosecute perpetrators of violence in Palestinian communities.
2 min read
01 July, 2021
Palestinian were involved in angry protests last month following Israeli rights abuses [Getty]

A top Israeli police officer has claimed that Shin Bet informants are leading violence within Palestinian communities in Israel, hampering the police's ability to tackle violent crime, according to an Israeli TV news report on Wednesday.

The remark was made during a high-level meeting at the Israeli police national headquarters, according to Israel's Channel 13.

"The criminals who are currently leading the serious crime in Arab society are mostly Shin Bet informants and in this situation, the police are bound because those informants, who enjoy immunity, cannot be touched," the unnamed officer said according to The Times of Israel.

The issue was also reportedly raised during a meeting involving Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev later in the day.

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Shin Bet denied the claim, calling it "false", according to a Channel 12 report.

It quoted the security agency saying that its activities have led to the "arrest of hundreds of suspects who have been prosecuted, dozens of them for serious terrorist offences with nationalist motivation". 

In May, protests broke out across areas of historical Palestine, including in the occupied West Bank, Gaza, and within Israel's borders, against Israel's forced expulsions of Palestinians and raids on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque.

Israel’s mixed towns saw far-right Israelis attack Palestinians on the streets and in their homes, while attacks on Israelis and synagogues also took place.

Israeli leaders, including former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pinned the violence on Israel's Palestinian citizens. More than 90 percent of Israeli citizens charged with rioting in the weeks following the violence were Palestinians, according to reports at the time, sparking outcry.

Israeli authorities have also drawn criticism for allegedly failing to tackle intra-Palestinian violence communities in Israel. More than 46 Palestinian citizens of Israel have been killed since the start of 2021.