Top Jewish Terror Suspect Meir Ettinger Freed From Israeli Detention

Ettinger was detained following the murder of the Dawabsheh family in the West Bank village of Duma last July.

Meir Ettinger, the alleged head of a group of Jewish extremists, appearing in an Israeli court, August 2015.
Meir Ettinger, the alleged head of a group of Jewish extremists, appearing in an Israeli court, August 2015. AFP

The Shin Bet security service's number one Jewish suspect of terrorism was  released on Wednesday after 10 months in administrative detention.

Meir Ettinger, the grandson of the slain far-right activist Meir Kahane, was detained following the murder of the Dawabsheh family in the West Bank village of Duma last July, and was placed in administrative detention for six months. His detention was later extended by a further four months.

The Shin Bet did not seek to extend the administrative detention order again.

Ettinger remains under various restrictions, including a ban from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a curfew. He is also barred from making contact with 93 people.

Following his detention, a judge noted that Ettinger encouraged acts of violence that harmed Israel's security, and that he organized a violent revolt aimed at toppling the state.

In the original administrative detention order against Ettinger, Justice Avraham Tal noted that "according to intelligence information presented by the Shin Bet, in September 2013 Ettinger founded an organization that aimed to bring forward a violent revolt that would topple the Israeli state by carrying out acts that would hurt the state's weak points. The revolt was meant to include four stages – public relations, recruitment of activists, the uprising's breakout and the disturbances phase."

It was also claimed that Ettinger was personally involved in the arson of a home in Khirbet Abu Falah in the West Bank in November 2014. "The respondent's actions show the danger emanating from him and the organization that he headed and was the mastermind of… Ettinger encouraged others to carry out violent acts that harmed state security and such acts were indeed carried out."

The justice's decision shows that he was presented with at least 180 intelligence reports and an 82-pages Shin Bet review.