Israeli Settler Imprisoned Without Charges on Suspicion of Arson in West Bank Village

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A car set on fire in a West Bank village. Credit: B'tselem

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon issued a one-month administrative detention order on Sunday against Itiel Zuaretz of the Adei Ad settlement outpost.

Zuaretz, 27, a married father of four, was arrested 10 days ago on suspicion of setting a car on fire in the Palestinian village of Al Mugheir in the West Bank last March. He was released when the investigation proved ineffective, but was rearrested and is now being held in administrative detention in prison.

Under administrative detention, individuals are imprisoned without either an indictment or trial.

One month is an exceptionally brief period for administrative detention, which is generally ordered for six months and is widely used against Palestinians, but rarely employed against Jewish Israelis.

Honenu, an organization that provides legal aid to Jews who are accused or on trial for violence against Palestinians, slammed Ya’alon’s move. “At a time when murderous terror is rampant in the streets and our Jewish brothers are being murdered and the entire nation of Israel is united and praying for the full recovery of the injured, the defense minister finds the time to sign an administrative detention order for a Jew and to put him in prison without trial and without charges,” said the organization in a statement. “To our regret, he does not grasp the connection between persecuting Jews and the failures of the battle against murderous terror. Who shall protect us? Who shall provide security?”

Three other Jews who are suspected of involvement in terror acts — Meir Ettinger, Mordechai Meyer and Eviatar Slonim —are being held in administrative detention for six months.

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