JERUSALEM (JTA) – The administrative detention of Meir Ettinger, the suspected head of a right wing Jewish terrorist cell, was extended by four months.
On Monday, while the detention of Meir Ettinger was extended with the approval of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, according to reports, the detention of right wing Jewish extremist Eviatar Slonim was ended. Slonim reportedly will be released in the coming days, though with conditions.
Ettinger, who is being held in an Israeli jail without specific charges and started a hunger strike in protest, and Slonim were arrested in August 2015 for suspected extremist activity.
The grandson of the slain far-right extremist Meir Kahane, Ettinger reportedly has lost consciousness several times since beginning his hunger strike two weeks ago. Slonim, a dual citizen of Israel and Australia, joined the strike shortly after.
Administrative detention is generally used against Palestinians, and allows Israeli authorities to hold suspected terrorists for six months at a time without filing formal charges. The detention can be renewed indefinitely.
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 defence minister denied.
Ettinger’s 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.