Ma’ale Adumim resident Mordechai Meir, 18, will be held for the next six months without trial under an administrative detention order signed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, according to a statement issued by the Defense Ministry.
Meir was placed under routine house arrest on Monday in connection with the arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha on the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), near Tiberias. He was also banned from traveling to specific areas due to his alleged involvement in the arson.
A second suspect, Aviatar Slonim, was also arrested for participation in a violent radical Jewish organization. He too was banned from traveling to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
“Minister Ya’alon signed the six month administrative detention order for the radical right wing activist Mordechi Mayer from Ma’ale Adumim due to his participation in the violent actions and terror attacks and violence which occurred recently as a member of a Jewish terror group. The order was signed at the recommendation of the Israel Security Agency / Shin Bet,” the Defense Ministry said in its statement.
Meir was jailed under authorization granted Tuesday to Ya’alon by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who legalized implementation of administrative detention orders against persons of interest, including Jews suspected of terror activity.
The Honenu organization that works to defend the civil rights of detainees, said in a statement responding to the detention:
“The fact that the same youth received a house arrest order only two days ago and now is already being “upgraded” to administrative detention points towards a populist agenda within law enforcement. We firmly object to the use of administrative detention against Jews. The use of these draconian orders, circumvents the court system, and nullifies the courts role in the state.”
The move follows by one day the arrest of 24-year-old Meir Ettinger, the grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, on suspicion of involvement in nationalist crimes. Ettinger, who was arrested in Tzfat, has been barred from Judea and Samaria since January.