Meir Ettinger attends a remand hearing at the Magistrate’s Court in Nazareth..
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
A Beersheba District Court judge on Sunday denied Meir Ettinger’s petition to be allowed to leave administrative detention in order to attend the circumcision of his son.
Presiding judge Israel Pablo Akselrad stated in his ruling that far-right activist Ettinger poses a danger to society and must not be released to attend the ceremony, even if only for a few hours and with full escort by Prisons Service officials.
Attorney Sima Cochav, who is representing Ettinger on behalf of the Honenu organization – which provides representation for Jews accused of acts of violence against Arabs – said on Sunday that “it is important to emphasize that this is a man under administrative detention and not a convicted criminal. Dangerous convicts are given furloughs while Meir Ettinger is kept behind bars even though he hasn’t been charged with any crime.”
Also on Sunday, Ettinger’s wife, Moriah Ettinger, wrote a letter to the Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis of Israel, calling on them to intervene on his behalf.
Prisoners on administrative detention are never allowed out on furloughs or for any purpose except for court appearances. The term administrative detention refers to a procedure used to jail security suspects without charge and without them being informed of the charges against them. The detentions can be extended indefinitely.
Ettinger and two other Jewish terrorism suspects were placed in administrative detention in August on order of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, in the wake of the firebombing of a home in the Palestinian village of Duma weeks earlier that killed three Palestinians.
Ettinger, the grandson of slain farright American-Israeli rabbi Meir Kahane, remains in detention but has not been indicted for any crime.
While such detentions had not been used against Jews for years, there are often hundreds of Palestinians on administrative detention at any given time and the practice is fiercely contested by Palestinian security prisoners, largely through the use of hunger strikes.