Yesterday, unknown arsonists burned down the home of Ibrahim Dawabsheh (ABC News report here), the neighbor and cousin of the Dawabshe family, which was murdered in an arson attack last July. Ibrahim is a key witness in the attack and is now testifying in an Israeli court.
Though police have said that there was only one arsonist the night of the murders, he saw two attackers:
“I saw Sa’ad and Reham burning on the ground. Next to them were two masked men, one beside each of them. They were dressed in jeans and black long-sleeved shirts,” he told Haaretz. “Their faces were covered with a balaclava, with only the mouth and eyes visible. The street light shone directly on them. I was horrified by what I saw. They saw me and I was frightened and ran back home. I told my brother Bishar to get help and returned to Sa’ad’s house where I no longer saw the two masked men” said Ibrahim…
No one has explained this discrepancy.
The latest arson attack is under a Shabak gag order which argues that the story must be suppressed “for the sake of the investigation and to protect state security.” Though Israeli publications may report on the story, they may not report on the details of the investigation.
There is something important to keep in mind about the original murder conspiracy. If there were two attackers, we know for sure that one of them was Amiram Ben Ulliel. He indeed is the culprit charged with the murders. But who was the second attacker?
A confidential security source told me months ago that the reason the Dawabsheh attack happened was that an insider in the plot was a Shabak informant who went rogue. He was supposed to convey a warning when the attack was to happen and never did. I’ve speculated that the only plausible figure it could be is the one who has not been charged with a crime. I identified him as Israel Keller.
There are numerous reasons Shabak would not want Keller to be exposed. The most important one is that he would reveal the security agency failed in a spectacular way leading to the murder of three innocent Palestinians, one an 18 month old baby. The crime also left another young boy an orphan.
Palestinians are speculating that “Jewish extremists” committed yesterday’s attack. But I have an even more alarming speculation: who else would wish to silence this witness? The Shabak and/or the Israeli police. It remains a distinct possibility that either Israeli security personnel ordered the attack or played some role in it in order to intimidate Ibrahim into not testifying or changing his testimony.
Think about it, here you have one of the most notorious crimes in Israel in the past year. You have a key Palestinian witness who is the only person who actually saw the murderers. Yet the police and Shabak provide no security to protect him. In fact, someone commits virtually the same crime in the same location as the previous arson. And security forces don’t know about it and don’t prevent it. Passing strange if you ask me.
UPDATE: The Shabak released an unusual public statement denying there aren’t “nationalist” motives (a euphemism for Jewish terrorism) for the most recent arson attack.
“The evidence that was found at the scene of the crime does not have the characteristics of a targeted arson by Jewish perpetrators.”
Of course, this is the lede in all stories written about the incident. Media outlets, including foreign ones, accept the line they are sold by Israeli security personnel without questioning. Why do they do this when they wouldn’t trust their own country’s security sources as blithely?
A security source whose information I’ve reported in the past says there are indications of Palestinian involvement. Frankly, I don’t buy it. In my years of following Israeli security matters I have a pretty good sense when something stinks to high heaven. And this one does. The denial, without offering any proof, further strengthens my impression that there is some form of collusion in this attack between Israeli security forces and those who carried out the attack. By the way, the next thing you will hear from Shabak or the police, I predict, is that the attack was due to a gang crime or an intra-clan squabble. You probably won’t hear this directly sourced to the security services. A reporter will say “official sources speculate” or some such nonsense. That’s the way these things work in the racist, mendacious state that is modern Israel.