The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday approved the extension by a year of a temporary order that allows interrogators to delay bringing a suspect in a security-related crime before a judge for 96 hours. The order further authorizes the court to extend a suspect`s remand in absentia.

The existing law allows authorities, under certain circumstances, to delay a suspect`s arraignment, to keep a security-related suspect in custody for a longer period of time than a suspect in another type of crime, to hold hearings in absentia and to limit the suspect`s freedom to appeal court decisions regarding his or her arrest. In addition, the law requires the security bodies that make use of these freedoms to file a biannual report indicating how often this law was implemented.

Justice Committee approves extension by a year of a temporary order that allows interrogators to delay bringing a suspect in a security-related crime before a judge for 96 hours

Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazri said statistics indicate that the Shin Bet (General Security Service) is making use of the temporary order in a ”logical and restrained” manner. In 2014, he told the committee, the law was used in cases involving only 23 of 200 relevant detainees, ”a relatively high figure compared with previous years.” This year has seen a significant reduction in the use of the law, Nazri said. ”The law`s clauses were implemented this year in cases that involved only seven of 341 relevant detainees. The Shin Bet is using this special tool only to prevent the loss of life,” he argued.

Nazri further told the committee that countries around the world ”want learn about our use of the anti-terror law.”

Addressing an investigation involving Jewish suspects, Nazri said ”there are no interrogations in the dark; the Shin Bet is not hiding anyone. All of the actions are being accompanied by the attorney general.” He admitted that in this case ”irregular measures have indeed been taken, and clauses of the discussed law have been implemented.” In response to a question by MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism), he said the suspects ”have been allowed to put on Teffillin (phylacteries) and light candles. I personally spoke with the administrator at the facility in which they are being held. Terror is terror. There is no terror law for Arabs and a terror law for Jews. To our regret, there is also severe Jewish terror which sometimes justifies the use of these tools.”

Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) refused to extend the temporary order by two years. The committee unanimously approved its extension by one year. Addressing the affair, he said ”if I will learn that there have been deviations from the law, I will hold a special meeting on the issue.”

MK Anat Berko (Likud) said ”Jewish terror should be treated like terror, but we must remember that we are facing jihadist Muslim terror.”