Mofaz Orders Administrative Detention for 3 Kach Activists

The orders still require approval from court; hearing set for Monday.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz Sunday signed two-month administrative detention orders against three Kach activists. The three - Ephraim Hershkowitz, 22, from Jerusalem; Gilad Shochat, 19, from the Havat Maon outpost south of Hebron; and Sa'adia Hershkof, an 18-year-old U.S. citizen living in Kfar Chabad - are suspected of involvement in violence against Palestinians.

The administrative detention orders still require approval by a district court judge.

The orders were issued Sunday afternoon on the recommendation of Shin Bet security service officials, who presented Mofaz with intelligence they said showed that the three constitute a threat and are involved in "ideologically motivated acts of violence against Arabs." The men will appear before a judge Monday.

The three men are known Kach activists who were detained when they left Sunday's funeral for Jewish terrorist Eden Natan Zada, who killed four Arab residents of Shfaram on Thursday. The outlawed extreme right-wing movement has denounced the arrests, saying they are anti-democratic.

Kach activists said that Shochat was the son of Tiran Pollack, one of Kach founder Rabbi Meir Kahane's most prominent followers in the 1980s. At the time, Pollack was involved in numerous acts of violence against Arabs, but he has since ceased to be active in the movement.

Mofaz alluded to the possible issuance of administrative detention orders in an interview with Channel 2 on Saturday night. The decision to issue the orders was taken against the backdrop of the Shfaram bus attack and concerns that extremists will attempt to carry out additional attacks in the coming days in an effort to derail the disengagement.

On May 8, an administrative detention order was issued against Neria Ofan, a resident of Yitzhar south of Nablus. Neria, who was active in a movement calling for a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, was detained because he was suspected of planning attacks against Arabs. Noam Federman, a Kach leader, has been under administrative detention for a few months.

Meanwhile, the Judea and Samaria Police District will Monday morning request an extension of the remand of three youths from Kfar Tapuah in the West Bank who are suspected of knowing in advance of Natan Zada's plans to kill Arabs but failing to take action to prevent him from carrying out the attack.