On Monday, Israeli authorities arrested Meir Ettinger, a leading Jewish extremist and the grandson of the late Meir Kahane, whose anti-Arab political movement, Kach, was banned in 1994 and eventually designated as a terrorist group.
Ettinger was arrested “because of his activities in a Jewish extremist organisation”, a Shin Bet spokesman said.
There are over 5,000 Palestinians reportedly being held in administrative detention as of now, however, there are no Israelis, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
A day before the Duma attack, Orthodox man Yishai Schlissel knifed six people at Jerusalem’s gay Pride parade, only three weeks after being released from prison for attacking the same event in 2005.
The Shin Guess singled out Ettinger two days earlier than the assault on the West Financial institution residence when it introduced it had uncovered a Jewish extremist motion of younger settler activists liable for a June arson assault of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, a outstanding Catholic church close to the Sea of Galilee, and various different hate crimes.
Two Palestinians were wounded and five were detained by Israeli security forces at the site, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is making good on his vow to crack down on Jewish extremists, which some say stems from the government’s determination to show it will not tolerate terrorism, either Jewish or Arab.
Many fear he represents a diminishing liberalism in Israel, where 52% of teenagers identify as right wing, and among those, 48% condone or say they understand the rationale behind such attacks, according to a poll last month by the Rafi Smith Institute.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged “zero tolerance” for Jewish terrorism and Israel has authorized a series of steps, including administrative detention, to help stamp out the trend. Israel has defended the administrative detention of Palestinians as a necessary tool for preventing militant attacks. He was previously charged in 2011 with a mass stone throwing incident at the home of a Palestinian family.
One suspect, Mordechai Mayer, an 18-year-old settler, was on Tuesday placed in what is known as administrative detention, which allows him to be held indefinitely without charge.
Since 2004, Israeli settlers have carried out more than 11,000 attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Zemer also accused the Shin Bet of arresting Ettinger for “PR purposes” rather than for a real investigative reason.
No one knows for sure who exactly was behind Friday’s arson but because of the target and Hebrew graffiti found on the charred home, suspicion immediately fell on Jewish settler extremists. Ettinger is suspected of “nationalist crimes” but not direct involvement in the West Bank firebombing, Israeli authorities said. He also attacks the country’s liberal and pluralistic foundations. While the world preferred to ignore the Palestinian call, hundreds of attacks took place, with thousands being killed, injured and arbitrarily imprisoned.
Harsh condemnations of the attack poured from the highest levels of government over the weekend, but many public figures say it’s time for the government to back up its words with concrete changes in how it treats Jewish terrorists.
The settlers, who also chanted racist slogans against Arabs and Palestinians, provoked a scuffle with angry local Palestinians who forced them out of the area.