08/04/2015, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Jewish extremist arrested, suspected of attacks in Douma and the church in the Galilee

Israeli security services have arrested Meir Ettinger, accused of "nationalist crimes ." He faces up to a year of "administrative detention", a measure so far applied to Palestinian militants. On his blog he defended the attacks on churches and mosques. Police investigating threats to President Rivlin.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Israeli security services have arrested Meir Ettinger, a Jewish extremist suspected of involvement in the attack on the village of Douma, in which a Palestinian baby boy just 18 months old was killed. He is also suspected of being involved in the fire that broke out a few weeks ago at the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes in Galilee.

The arrest of 20 year-old Meir Ettinger occurred yesterday in Safed, in northern Israel; a Shin Bet spokesman reports that his cature was related to his "activities within a Jewish extremist organization". Ettinger is the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the racist anti-Arab Kach movement assassinated in New York in 1990.

At the moment he is accused of "nationalistcrimes", although he is not currently charged with the arson attack on the Palestinian house in Duma, near Nablus, where a Palestinian child of a year and a half was burned alive.

Ettinger faces up to a year of "administrative detention", following the new government law that punishes acts and gestures related to "Jewish terrorism". That measure, once applied only to Palestinian militants, now also apply to the Israelis.

A few days ago on his blog he had denied the existence of a Jewish underground organization, but defended the attacks against churches and mosques, which he termed "pagan places of worship." Because of his activities in January he had been prevented from entering the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Israeli police have opened an investigation into the threats circulating on the net against President Reuven Rivlin, after the strong condemnation expressed by the head of state against "Jewish terrorism". His post linked to the fire in Duma village, which caused the death of Ali Saad Dawabsh, in just a few hours clocked up more than 2 thousand comments, some positive however, alternating with threatening messages or open criticism. One of these termed the President a "dirty traitor" who will end up "worse than [Ariel] Sharon."

In 1995, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was killed in a peace rally in Tel Aviv by a Jewish extremist, after a right-wing campaign that urged a boycott of the peace agreement with the Palestinians.

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