Suspected far-right extremist Meir Ettinger is to remain in detention without trial, while a second alleged Jewish extremist will soon be freed after six months, after the Defense Ministry decided not to extend his detention further.
Ettinger, the suspected head of a Jewish terror group and the grandson of slain far-right Rabbi Meir Kahane, will remain in police custody for another four months, Hebrew media reported Monday. Eviatar Slonim will be released in the coming days, with some restrictions on his movement.
Both Ettinger and Slonim recently launched hunger strikes to protest their treatment.
Ettinger — who has been held since August 3, 2015 — lost consciousness last Wednesday. He was rushed to a medical facility for emergency treatment, the Maariv news site reported.
In early January, Mordechai Mayer, 18, of the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, was freed from detention after five months, with no charges filed against him.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved the August orders for six months of administrative detention issued by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The Lod District Court upheld the orders in mid-September.
Under administrative detention, an anti-terror measure more commonly used for Palestinian prisoners, one can be held for six months without being charged or tried. The order can be renewed indefinitely in six-month increments.
Israeli authorities say they believe Ettinger oversees a Jewish terrorist group. He was arrested for “involvement in violent activities and terrorist attacks that occurred recently, and his role as part of a Jewish terrorist group.” His arrest was initially linked to the firebombing of a home in the West Bank Palestinian village of Duma that left an infant and his parents dead. Two people, one of them a minor, have been indicted in connection with that attack.
Shin Bet officials have said Ettinger heads a movement that was responsible for a June 2015 arson attack at the historic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, and seeks to bring down the government and replace it with a Jewish theocracy.
Ettinger was recently transferred to solitary confinement and has limited, monitored contact with his family.