Israeli Far-rightist Arrested After Refusing Questioning, Police Say

The police found nothing incriminating when they searched the home of Meir Ettinger, the man most wanted by the Shin Bet security service’s Jewish division.

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
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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. Credit: AFP
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

Right-wing extremist Meir Ettinger, a leader of the so-called hilltop youth and an anti-Palestinian ideologue, was arrested on Monday after refusing to answer police's questions regarding his role in an incident from a number of years ago. He expected to be released soon after a search of his home found nothing incriminating.

Ettinger allegedly helped craft a document seized by the police last year outlining the principles of a group called the Revolt. The document provides ideological underpinnings for Jewish extremists in the West Bank.

Ettinger is the man most wanted by the Shin Bet security service’s Jewish division. After the police’s search, they asked Ettinger about an incident several years ago in which he is thought to have been involved.

When he refused, he was arrested. The police questioned him but say they don’t expect to seek a court order keeping him custody.

Ettinger was released in June after 10 months of administrative detention – detention without trial. He had been arrested after the arson killing of members of the Dawabsheh family in the West Bank village of Duma last year.

Ettinger, who was born in Jerusalem and is married with one son, was jailed in 2012 for his role in the Jewish underground, which collected information on movements by Israeli troops in the West Bank.

The Shin Bet believes Ettinger is behind the Revolt documents, which detail planned attacks against Arabs in order to provoke unrest leading to the overthrow of the Israeli government.

The documents were seized from the home of Moriah Goldberg of the Tapuah settlement, but the Shin Bet has no evidence directly tying them to Ettinger.

In addition, the Shin Bet has hundreds of pieces of intelligence allegedly showing that Ettinger encouraged youths to establish terror cells to attack Arabs.

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