Amiram Ben Uliel in court
Amiram Ben Uliel in courtAvshalom Sassoni/Pool

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal lodged on behalf of Amiram Ben Uliel, who was convicted two years ago of murdering members of the Dawabshe family in the Arab village of Duma in 2015.

Ben Uliel appealed his conviction for arson and the three life sentences handed down (corresponding to the three members of the Dawabshe family who died), arguing that his confession was extracted illegally via torture at the hands of Shabak interrogators.

The justices on the court hearing his appeal - Yitzhak Amit, Yosef Alron, and Shaul Shochat - ruled that Ben Uliel's appeal was to be denied and that the confession Ben Uliel made, three days after his arrest, along with his description of how the crime was committed, was legally permissible. "There is no doubt that it was he who committed this terrible deed," they said.

Their ruling comes despite prior rulings from lower courts that invalidated two of Ben Uliel's three confessions, accepting his claim that he was tortured in order to extract his confession.

Ben Uliel's lawyers, Yehoshu Reznick and Avigdor Feldman, argued on behalf of their client that, "A society that seeks to protect its members from torture at the hands of kind or evil interrogators must use the courts to establish an unbreachable barrier between an arrestee and the torturer. Such a barrier would establish that the interrogator may not extract a confession not after 36 hours [following arrest] or a week later, or at any point in time when the arrestee is in his interrogators' hands and dependent on their goodwill."

Responding to the ruling, Otzma Yehudit party head MK Itamar Ben-Gvir said, "Today there is no longer any argument over the fact that Ben Uliel's confession was only obtained following interrogation and torture and this development is unjust in the extreme. The laws of the State of Israel obligate any confession extracted via torture to be invalidated, but unfortunately, Supreme Court Judges are either ignoring this or not giving it any weight. The Supreme Court previously established that he was tortured, but instead of releasing him after delivering a logical verdict, the Court has sent him to serve three life sentences. This is a black day for democracy."

The Honenu rights organization also responded to the ruling, issuing a statement saying that, "It appears that in the State of Israel, a miracle must occur before justice comes to light. Today, that miracle did not occur.

"We hoped that in the justices of the Supreme Court we would find a receptive ear to this human rights issue, to justice and honesty, but we were not surprised to find that the justices were instead working toward a specific agenda. Anyone who reads this ruling can see in it the marks of an agenda of hatred and signs that the judges have forgotten what justice is. The fight for Amiram is not over. We, together with those members of the Jewish People who realize what injustice has been done, will continue to invest all our efforts in bringing the truth to light, either sooner or later."