Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef are refusing to be questioned by police on the suspicion they supported the book "The King's Torah", written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, which describes how it is possible to kill non-Jews according to halakha (Jewish religious law).
Rabbi Lior, the chief rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, did not appear for a scheduled questioning session with police on Monday evening. Rabbi Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, does not intend to arrive at his questioning session scheduled for Tuesday.
In a written statement that aired on Channel 2 on Monday, Lior and Yosef wrote: "The investigation is contrary to the laws of the Torah – therefore we will not take part in it."
An associate of Yosef said that Yosef would not be deterred from "continuing to educate and protect the citizens of the state."
In late July, police released Shapira, head of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva and resident of the Yitzhar settlement in the West Bank, hours after arresting him for allegedly encouraging the killing of non-Jews.
Detectives first carried out a search at the yeshiva, where they confiscated 30 copies of "The King's Torah".
The preface of the book, which was published in November, states that it is forbidden to kill non-Jews - but the book then apparently describes the context in which it is permitted to do so.
According to Shapira, it is permissible to kill a non-Jew who threatens Israel even if the person is classified as a Righteous Gentile. His book says that any gentile who supports war against Israel can also be killed.
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