The families of five Israeli Jews detained by the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) on suspicion of "Jewish terrorism" turned to Israel's chief Rabbis late Thursday night, imploring them to speak to security officials on their behalf.
The five families asked Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau to ensure their children could keep Shabbat while in detention, after it was revealed earlier Thursday that the intelligence agency was actively keeping the five from keeping the religious ordinance.
Among other rights violations, investigators insisted on questioning them with music playing in the room; they also smoked heavily in their presence and repeatedly offered them drags.
"Our respected rabbis: our children are currently being investigated by the Shin Bet – some of whom have gone over 10 days without legal counsel," they said.
"We very much fear for their safety, especially after the situation over the past few months where we know [others] have been tortured during the interrogations."
The families noted that their sons may be prevented from keeping Shabbat, and that the Shin Bet questioning procedures may be specifically to prevent their sons from doing so.
"We're ashamed that, in a Jewish state, people spurn the Shabbat under the law, and offend other Jewish people who wish to observe the Shabbat, and deny them that right," they concluded, begging both public dignitaries to work on their behalf.
"These things shock anyone with a Jewish soul, and cannot be overlooked in the Jewish state."