Sikrik leader arrested, released to house arrest

MK Katz, who was attacked by group members, praises police struggle against criminals.

By JONAH MANDEL
October 21, 2010 05:31
1 minute read.
National Union MK Ya'acov Katz.

yaacov katz 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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A leader of the violent Sikrikim group, Israel Heshin, 26, was arrested overnight Tuesday on suspicion of assault in an operation involving undercover police forces.

MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union), who was attacked some five weeks ago at a Mea She’arim synagogue by members of the group, expressed “great joy” over Heshin’s arrest on Wednesday.

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Katz had resolved to outlaw the Sikrikim by passing a law that would give the Knesset the power to designate a group of people intent on harming others as a terrorist organization.

“This is an important directive for the struggle of the haredi and general societies against a criminal group that embitters the life of Jerusalem residents,” he said. “The bill declaring the group a criminal organization has already garnered the signatures of many Knesset members. As a result of it, the battle against these criminals and perverts will be bolstered and bring to the elimination of the phenomenon, which will allow Mea She’arim residents, who had enough of these bullies, to resume normal lives.”

In a remand extension hearing, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered that Heshin be released to five days of home arrest. However, police appealed and the Jerusalem District Court ordered that Heshin remain in custody until Thursday at 2 p.m.

The Sikrikim are named after the Sicarii, a splinter group of Zealots who, before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, tried to expel the Romans and their partisans from Judea using concealed daggers, called sicae.

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