Court denies extremist Meir Ettinger prison furlough for son’s bris

Meir Ettinger, grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, seen in court in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, Aug. 4, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Meir Ettinger, grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, seen in court in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, Aug. 4, 2015. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Meir Ettinger, the suspected head of a right-wing Jewish terrorist cell who is being held in administrative detention, will not be furloughed to attend his son’s circumcision.

A panel of three judges of Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday morning upheld the decision of the Beersheba District Court on Sunday, which denied a petition to grant Ettinger a furlough, saying he is still a public threat. The circumcision was set to take place on Monday afternoon in Jerusalem.

His wife said she would not allow the circumcision ceremony to be held at the prison, though she offered to hold it near the prison, Ynet reported. The prison reportedly offered to allow 15 people to attend a circumcision ceremony on the premises.

Ettinger, the grandson of the slain far-right extremist Meir Kahane, has been held in administration detention without being charged since August 2015. The detention was extended in February.

Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold suspected terrorists for six months at a time without filing formal charges. The detention, which is generally used against Palestinians, can be renewed indefinitely.

Ettinger, who has spent several weeks in solitary confinement and has limited contact with his family, 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.

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.

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