Hunger-striking Jewish extremist collapses in prison

(JTA) – Meir Ettinger, a suspected Jewish terrorist being held under Israel’s administrative detention policy, collapsed in prison nine days after launching a hunger strike.

Ettinger, grandson of the late far-right extremist Meir Kahane, was given emergency medical treatment on Tuesday, the Times of Israel reported the following day, citing Maariv. His hunger strike is in protest of his detention.

He has been held since August under a policy, generally used only against Palestinians, that allows Israeli authorities to hold suspected terrorists for six months at a time without filing formal charges.

According to The Jewish Press, which cited Hakol Hayehudi (Hebrew for The Jewish Voice), Ettinger and Eviatar Slonim, who recently joined the hunger strike, are being held in Eshel Prison near Beersheba. The two were moved in October to “the security prisoners’ section of the prison, where they are surrounded by Arab terrorists who threaten to kill them,” according to the Press.

Ettinger, who reportedly was transferred recently to solitary confinement, was arrested for “involvement in violent activities and terrorist attacks that occurred recently, and his role as part of a Jewish terrorist group,” according to Israeli authorities.

In December, lawyers for the two detainees accused the Shin Bet security service of torturing them, a charge Shin Bet leaders and Israel’s defense secretary denied.

His arrest was linked to the firebombing of a home in the West Bank Palestinian village of Duma that left an infant and his parents dead. Three people, including two minors, have been charged in connection with the attack.

Shin Bet officials have said Ettinger heads a movement that also was responsible for the June arson of 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.

On Sunday, Ettinger’s grandmother Libby Kahane, the widow of Meir Kahane, submitted a letter to The Jerusalem Post expressing concern about her grandson’s health and denying he had committed any crime. Kahane also submitted the same letter as a comment on the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin website.

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