In first, Israel jails Jewish extremist without trial
Israel has jailed a Jewish extremist for six months without charges or trial, expanding a crackdown against militant Jews and deploying a contentious measure typically used for Palestinians suspected of staging attacks.
This was the first time the measure, known as administrative detention, was applied against an Israeli since the crackdown began following a pair of deadly attacks last week.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon signed an order late Tuesday that jailed extremist Mordechai Meyer, from the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, for six months.
A statement from Yaalon’s office said Meyer, 18, was being held in connection to “his involvement in violent activities and recent terror attacks.”
The ministry would not elaborate on the suspicions against him but Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet said Meyer was among five people arrested in connection with the arson attack against an important church in northern Israel in June, although he was not indicted.
Meyer was also suspected of links to attacks against another church in Jerusalem, as well as attacks on Palestinian property, the agency said, adding that he had previously been banned from the West Bank and Jerusalem. The Shin Bet declined to comment on whether Meyer was connected to last week’s attack on a Palestinian home.
The detention intensifies a crackdown on Jewish militancy that came after two deadly attacks last week.
On Friday, suspected Jewish extremists torched a West Bank home, an arson attack in which a Palestinian toddler was burned to death and his parents and 4-yearold brother were seriously wounded. A day earlier, an anti-gay ultraOrthodox man stabbed six people at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade, and one of them — a 16-year-old girl — later died of her wounds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Aug. 5.