Lod District Court ruled Sunday that far-right extremist Meir Ettinger can be held for six months in administrative detention — a measure reserved for terror suspects.
The grandson of assassinated Israeli American extremist Meir Kahane, Ettinger was arrested in August for suspected extremist activity related to “price tag” terror attacks against Palestinians.
Ettinger’s arrest was ordered by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon under special anti-terror rules expanded by the security cabinet in early August. Administrative detention allows a terror suspect to be held indefinitely without trial in six-month renewable increments. While detainees can appeal the detention itself to the High Court of Justice or lower district courts, the suspects do not receive full trials or have access to the evidence against them. Ettinger’s appeal against the detention led to the Lod court ruling.
The cabinet decision and Ettinger’s arrest followed the July 31 firebombing of a Palestinian family’s home in the northern West Bank village of Duma that killed three members of the Dawabsha family. Officials, including the Shin Bet security service and the defense minister, have said that evidence points to Jewish perpetrators in the attack.
Ettinger has not been formally linked to that attack, according to officials, but is believed by the Shin Bet to be a leader of an extremist Jewish group responsible for multiple hate crimes, including arson attacks against two well-known churches, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem.
The Shin Bet has said Ettinger was being held for “his involvement in a Jewish extremist organization” seeking to bring about religious “redemption” through attacks on Christian sites and Palestinian targets.
Ettinger’s attorney Yuval Zemer said he would appeal the court’s approval of the detention, Israel Radio reported.