What Does the Shin Bet Have to Hide?

    60 years have passed since the Wadi Salib incident: riots that broke out in Haifa in July of 1959 to the backdrop of distress and ethnic discrimination against North African immigrants. Authorities, with Shin Bet intervention, harshly suppressed the riots. The Shin Bet has published an official account of the incident based on documents from that era, but, despite the length of time that has passed, refuses to release related documents to researchers and the public. On 1.1.2019, ACRI filed a suit to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on behalf of Dr. Shay Hazkani, who is researching the integration of Jews from Arab and Eastern countries in Israel. In 2017, Dr. Hazkani asked the State Archive for access to archival information about the Shin Bet’s activities in the Mizrahi sector, including activities in the ma’abarot, or transit camps, and attempts to prevent the Wadi Salib riots from happening. The Shabak rejected his request, stating “national security” concerns. ACRI Attorney Avner Pinchuk sued for the release of archival materials related to the riots. He further asked for the Shin Bet to publicize their de-classification procedures and to proactively publish archival material that is 50 years or older, as required by law.
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