Three Jewish extremists indicted for throwing rocks at Palestinians

Grandson of assassinated far-right rabbi Meir Kahane among the group accused of attacking civilians in the northern West Bank in 2014

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Far-right activist Meir Ettinger in 2011 (Flash90)
Far-right activist Meir Ettinger in 2011 (Flash90)

Three Jewish extremists were indicted Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault for throwing stones at Palestinians in the northern West Bank in 2014.

According to the indictment filed at the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court, Meir Ettinger, Ben Zion Afarsemon and Dvir Yehuda ransacked the house of a Palestinian in the West Bank village of Burin.

When the home owner arrived with another friend and began inspecting the damage, the suspects jumped out from a nearby hilltop where they had been waiting. Yehuda allegedly used a sling-shot to catapult rocks at the Palestinians, while Ettinger and Afarsemon tossed additional stones.

“Subsequently, security forces arrived at the scene and the incident ended,” the indictment said, making no mention of injuries to the pair of Palestinians.

The grandson of assassinated far-right rabbi Meir Kahane, Ettinger has been described by police as the leader of a Jewish underground bent on turning Israel into a theocracy.

He is considered an early leader of Israel’s “hilltop youth” — young people who move to settlement outposts and resist soldiers’ attempts to evacuate them, and have been known to carry out hate crimes against Palestinian, Christian and Israeli targets.

Ettinger was the first suspect to be arrested after a rash of extremist attacks on Palestinians and other non-Jews in Israel and the West Bank in 2015, notably the torching of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee, and the firebombing murder of a baby and his parents in the Palestinian village of Duma.

He was held for 10 months under administrative detention over his alleged leadership role in a Jewish terror cell. No charges were filed against him and he was released in June of 2016, though with heavy limitations.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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