Unusual .. Shin Bet chief gives an earful to Netanyahu and his cabinet

Shabak (aka Shin Bet) is Israel's internal security service.  It's catchphrase translates in English as "Defender that shall not be seen" or "The unseen shield."  Shabak or Shin Bet is one of the three branches of Israeli intelligentsia along with 'Aman' (Israeli military intelligence) and the infamous Mossad (Israeli foreign intelligence). 

In the recent spate of violence after barring Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa compound, a 32-year-old Palestinian bus driver was kidnapped and hanged in East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers.  Hassan Rammouni was driving home after work when the incident happened in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud.  Though the Israeli side claimed it was "suicide," a Palestinian pathologist had no doubts that it was murder. A day later two Palestinians attacked a synagogue and killed 5 Israelis.  The following day a Palestinian youth was seriously injured by Israeli police in East Jerusalem.  On all of this, and for the first time since the creation of Israel, the chief of one of Israel's intelligence branches, Shabak (or Shin Bet) lashed out at the hate-mongering policies of the Israeli PM and his cabinet.

Quoting a few interesting excerpts from "Déjà Vu in Jerusalem?" by Neve Gordon:

A few hours after the synagogue massacre, Netanyahu maintained that the attack was “a direct result of the incitement lead by Hamas and Abu Mazen [President Mahmoud Abbas].”  Naftali Bennett, the right-wing economy minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet .. concluded that “Abbas, one of the biggest terrorists to have arisen from the Palestinian people, bears direct responsibility for the Jewish blood spilt on tallit and tefillin .. This is the moment when the déjà vu becomes most apparent. Arrows just like these were shot at Arafat in the years and months before his mysterious death a decade ago.

Yoram Cohen, the head of Israel’s secret services ... Shabak, weighed in against Netanyahu and his cabinet members.  On the day of the attack on the synagogue, Cohen asserted that no one among the Palestinian leadership is calling for violence. “Abu Mazen is not interested in terror,” he explained, “and is not leading [his people] to terror. Nor is he doing so ‘under the table.” The head of Shabak went on to blame the Israeli leadership for the religious turn. He warned that the Palestinian reactions in East Jerusalem were exacerbated due to “a series of confrontations centering around the Temple Mount—including the ascent to that holy site by MKs [Knesset Members], as well as proposed legislation that would change the status quo in the compound.”  Wittingly or not, Israel’s top security officer thus accused the prime minister and his comrades of incitement and spreading lies, exposing how these political leaders are fueling religious tensions as well as producing the “no partner” myth in order to sustain the strife. This is not a minor event, since it is the first time in Israel’s history that the head of the secret services—during his tenure in office—has contradicted the prime minister and has publicly revealed his duplicity.

If even the Shabak, the organization responsible for torturing and assassinating Palestinians during forty-seven years of occupation, thinks the Israeli leadership has gone too far, then matters are becoming really scary. Yes, there is a sense of déjà vu, only this time it seems that Israel’s political entourage has already fallen into the abyss."