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A Hunting Story

Executing Suspects, Israeli Police Call it Interception

Meir Bardugo, Kol Ha'ir

17 Aug. 2001

A secret report by Israeli police says policemen have at least once failed to kill a Palestinian suspect in a murder case before a successful killing was carried out. The report uses Israeli security forces’ internal euphemism, interception, police sources say this means "an arrest, or an elimination."

21 years old Nasser Abu-Zeideh was shot to death on Tuesday by a special police unit, the Gidonim. He was the prime suspect in the murder of 18 years old Yuri Goschin from Pisgat Ze’ev settlement. The official police announcement stated that Abu-Zeideh tried to escape from an ambush aimed at his arrest, and was shot to death while trying to hurt policemen in order to escape. However, W. Jerusalem Weekly Magazine Kol Ha’ir reports today that the police had rich intelligence on Abu-Zeideh and has tried to “intercept” him for the first time two weeks ago.

Goschin’s body was found some three weeks ago near a slaughter-house in Al-Bireh, bearing the marks of stabbing and bullet injuries. A 15 year old girl told the police she saw him on the night of his disappearance in downtown W. Jerusalem. Browsing through police photo albums she pointed to the picture of 17 year old Ahmed Hassin Hadad from Kalandiya refugee camp and said she saw him with Goschin that night. Hadad was arrested in downtown W. Jerusalem the next day, by officers who suspected him of carrying drugs. He was taken to the Shabak (Secret Service) underground facility beneath the police headquarters in the nearby Russian Compound.

The confession Hassin’s interrogators managed to extract was as follows. Hassin had come to downtown W. Jerusalem in order to lure a Jewish boy to accompany them to an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority and to murder him there. They contacted Goschin, got him drunk and let him smoke marijuana. When, towards midnight, Goschin expressed a wish to go home they told him he was too blurry to get home on his own and offered to give him a ride. They then drove him to Al-Bireh, overtaking the A-Ram check-point. According to the confession, the four were met in Al-Bireh by their operators, members of a Fatah cell, who then transported Goschin to another car, drove him to Al-Bireh industrial zone, and there tied him up, shot him, stabbed him, and left his body outdoors. The two friends were arrested some days later and confirmed most of the details.

Much but not enough has been reported on the brutal and ruthless methods of investigation by the Shabak in this, and other facilities, but confessions extracted by torture have had little difficulty in passing the Israeli courts as legitimate and reliable evidence. In this case, however, the case has not been brought to the court.

On Tuesday the prime suspect was “intercepted” by the Gidonim unit of the Israeli police.

Kol Ha’ir also quotes Shabak claims, “based on documents, suspect testimonies, and phone tapping,” that Iraqi army intelligence officers had briefed the murderers and instructed on how to contact Jewish youths, drug them, and trick them into PA controlled areas to be murdered. Another source in the Israeli security forces has told the paper that exposing this Fatah cell and its methods has prevented the murder of more Jewish youths.


Kol Ha'ir Magazine is published on Fridays by the Schoken Local Press, there is no on-line edition, the staff can be contacted by email.