Nine Arrested in Crackdown on Suspected Jewish Terrorists

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Masked Jewish settlers clash with Palestinians in the West Bank village of Assira al-Kibliya, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Credit: AP

The Shin Bet security service and Israel Police arrested nine people Sunday morning as part of a crackdown on suspected Jewish terrorists.

Two people were arrested at the Adei Ad outpost in the northern West Bank, not far from the Palestinian village of Duma where Sa'ad Dawabsheh and his baby son Ali were burned to death by suspected Jewish extremists. Security forces also searched seven houses.

Authorities also raided outpost Baladim in the northern West Bank near the Kochav Hashachar settlement and arrested seven people. 

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon issued a six-month administrative arrest order Sunday morning for Meir Ettinger and Eviatar Slonim - two extremists suspected of being involved in acts of Jewish terrorism and held by Israeli authorities since last week.

Ettinger is the Shin Bet’s most wanted Jewish suspect and is the grandson of slain extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. He was arrested Monday on suspicion of being part of a Jewish underground based in the West Bank.

Meir Ettinger, accused of being leader of violent Jewish underground, in Nazareth court, August 4, 2015.Credit: AFP

Slonim is suspected of belonging to an extremist group that sought to harm Arabs and replace the government in Israel with a Jewish kingdom and had been previously arrested on suspicion of setting fire to a Palestinian home in the South Hebron Hills in November 2014.

Both arrived Sunday morning at a Nazareth court for a remand hearing after being first arrested last week, but in light of the defense minister's decree the hearing was rendered obsolete. The chief justice of the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court now has 48 hours to authorize their arrest.

An administrative detention order enables a person’s arrest without being told what he is suspected of or what evidence there is against him.

Green light to detention without trial

Last week, following the deadly Duma arson, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein gave the Shin Bet security service the green light to hold Slonim, Ettinger and a third right-wing extremist - Mordechai Meyer - under an administrative detention order, after the security cabinet approved that use of the measure.

Meyer, an 18-year-old resident of Ma'aleh Adumim, was jailed in Rimonim Prison for six months after an administrative detention order was issued against him. Ya’alon, who issued the order, said that Meyer was suspected of involvement in recent violence and terror attacks as part of a Jewish terror group.

Meyer was questioned in the past in connection with the arson attack on the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem last year, and was also arrested recently on suspicion he was involved in the torching of the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes on the Kinneret shore. He was released without being charged, but a restraining order barred him from entering Jerusalem, the West Bank, Safed or Yad Binyamin.

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