Police told: Investigate B'Tselem's 'coincidences'

Police urged to probe activist who filmed soldier shooting injured terrorist, question how group is always at scene of attacks.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Site of Thursday's attack in Hevron, Arab films at screen left
Site of Thursday's attack in Hevron, Arab films at screen left
Jewish community of Hevron

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir and Lehava director Bentzi Gopshtain, both nationalist activists of the Otzma Yehudit party and residents of Kiryat Arba, contacted the Hevron police on Saturday night in a request for an investigation into events surrounding the fatal shooting of an injured terrorist.

The two called on police to investigate the activist of the radical leftist NGO B'Tselem who last Thursday filmed a soldier shooting a wounded Arab terrorist in the city, mere minutes after the terrorist and an accomplice stabbed and wounded a soldier.

Following the video footage the soldier was arrested and accused of murder. He has argued he shot the terrorist because he thought he was about to detonate a bomb belt, claiming there were concerns the terrorist had a bomb belt under his unseasonable coat, as corroborated by video evidence and testimony. The IDF on Saturday night claimed the terrorist had been checked and found not to have a bomb belt before the incident.

In the complaint sent on Saturday night, Ben-Gvir wrote, "I turn to you in my name and the name of my client Mr. Bentzi Gopshtain in a request to launch an investigation against the B'Tselem investigator Imad Abu Shamsiyeh who 'by coincidence' filmed the incident in Hevron immediately after the terrorist arrived to murder IDF soldiers."

"It is worth noting that this is not the first time in which members of the radical leftist organization B'Tselem are present 'at the right place' - from their point of view - 'at the right time' - from their point of view - and only this last year several incidents took place in the City of the Patriarchs during which (terrorists) tried to harm IDF soldiers or residents of the community, and members of the organization 'by coincidence' were at the scene."

According to the attorney, the staggering number of the "coincidences" raises serious questions, and it would be simply naive to think that the presence of B'Tselem activists is merely a matter of chance.

"It is worth checking and investigating whether there is any sort of coordination between certain sources such as those conducting criminal acts and those who are at the scene at exactly the same time," he wrote.

"In these circumstances, we ask you to order the opening of an investigation against Abu Shamsiyeh and to clarify the management of the B'Tselem organization."

Referencing an investigative report revealing members of the radical leftist group Breaking the Silence apparently spying on IDF troop formations on the border with Gaza, he added, "only a few days ago the state of Israel was introduced to the criminal acts committed by the organization Breaking the Silence."

Ben-Gvir noted Breaking the Silence "is the twin brother of the B'Tselem organization - and there is a real concern that B'Tselem investigators aren't sitting idly by either." Just this January activists connected to B'Tselem were found to be involved in getting Arabs executed for selling land to Jews, and the organization defended the executions.

He wrote in conclusion that B'Tselem operates in Hevron through activists who are "criminals, some of them released terrorists, and the Hevron police must not be complacent."