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Protest: Justice for Destau Bisset, Hy”d

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

Where is the police? Where is the GSS? Where is our security? Photo credit: Honenu

Please click here for a list of posts relating to the mid-May Arab rioting throughout Israel.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 12:40 On the morning of Tuesday, October 5, the family of Destau Bisset, Hy”d, who was murdered in Ramle during the Arab riots at the time of Operation Guardian of the Walls, held a protest with the support of approximately 300 demonstrators opposite the Office of the Prime Minister as a government meeting was taking place. The family is demanding that the GSS investigate the murder so that the murderers will be apprehended and brought to trial. Members of Knesset, public figures, rabbis and spiritual leaders of the Ethiopian community participated in the protest.

At the protest, Bisset’s son-in-law, Moshe Shete, said, “Only recently we have seen how our police knew how to apprehend the terrorists who escaped from the Gilboa Prison within several days. But when it comes to Destau, who was murdered in center city, on a city street with security cameras, the police are not able to apprehend the murderers.

“A man was murdered, and after four months the murderers have not been apprehended. The police have not done their job and they must get their house in order. I am certain that if the victim had been someone else, as has unfortunately been the case in similar incidents, the police would have used all resources, including the IDF, to apprehend terrorists. But when the victim is from the Ethiopian community, apparently they think that they can drag their feet.”

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the Bisset family, spoke at the protest: “This attack was an attack on the Jewish People. This incident began with the attack on Destau, Hy”d, and unfortunately, already from the first moment the investigation was not carried out as it should have been. For a week and a half the incident was not dealt with as it should have been, and evidence was tampered with.”

Bleicher revealed details that the family discovered after lengthy inquiries: “We now know that the GSS refused to take on the investigation. I would like to tell you that there have been much more minor incidents, such as graffiti by Jews on Arab houses, with which the GSS has immediately become involved and activated a well-oiled system, including prohibitions of meeting with an attorney and detaining minors for long periods of time, with no regard for limits. How can it be that a nationalistically motivated murder of a Jew in the middle of an Israeli city does not receive treatment by the GSS? This is a crime by all accounts.”

The protest; Photo credit: Honenu

Knesset Member and chairman of the Religious Zionist party Betzalel Smotrich called on senior members of the security forces to take action: “Destau was murdered at the time of the riots during Operation Guardian of the Walls; it was a nationalistically motivated murder. The GSS should have thoroughly investigated the incident and solved the case long ago. They should have apprehended the murderers and put them behind bars, done justice and given the grief-stricken family and community who have gathered here today a bit of solace. I call on the security forces to bring in the GSS, with all of its means and resources, abilities and authority, and to find the murderers.”

Kess Yosef Menashe, one of the spiritual leaders of the Ethiopian community spoke about the failures of the Ramle Municipality at the protest: “We ask the Prime Minister for his immediate intervention in examining the case. Because we see that nobody in the Ramle Municipality is paying any attention. The Mayor of Ramle was not at the funeral and was not interviewed by the media. What is this evasiveness? It is highly suspicious. It cannot be that a man serves his community, pays taxes, and his mayor does not come to his assistance today, when we are all here in Jerusalem opposite the Office of the Prime Minister. We want justice for Destau.”

Knesset Members Michal Woldiger and Ofir Sofer from the Religious Zionist party also spoke at the protest.

MK Woldiger: “Destau was murdered because he was a Jew. For five months we have been shouting and screaming. A month and a half ago six terrorists escaped from prison and the entire country stood at attention. And what about Destau? His murderers are walking free and nobody cares. Nobody. We will not be silent. All of the security forces should be in the picture, and they should find the murderers who murdered a dear man in cold blood.”

MK Ofir Sofer: “All of the signs and all of the evidence clearly points to a terror attack. It cannot be that the Israeli Police will not [find the murderers]. It cannot be that if the GSS is needed in the case, the State of Israel will not activate them. The truth must come to light, and the terrorists must be apprehended.”

Before the start of the protest march, Moshe Shete called out to the Prime Minister: “Prime Minister, you are the only one who can give an order to the GSS to enter the picture. Give the order and you will see that within a few days the GSS will have apprehended the murderers. We are clearly announcing that we will not stop, and we will fight so that Destau’s blood will not be abandoned. We believe that Am Yisrael and the community of Israel understand that it cannot be that a man is killed in a nationalistically motivated murder, and everyone is silent,” concluded Shete.

Destau Bisset, z”l, age 74, was run over by two Arabs riding electric bicycles in Ramle in May, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, and succumbed to his injuries approximately three weeks later. Eyewitnesses to the incident stated that the cyclists intentionally collided with Bisset, attempted to run over people waiting at a bus station and then fled the scene.

As of now, two suspects have been investigated for the murder and released due to lack of evidence. On September 6, Iman Abu Sif was released from remand to house arrest – see here and here for more details. In late July, the police detained a 16-year-old suspected of the murder, but to the dismay of the family, released him after approximately one week of remand. See here and here for more details.

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