Kahane relative released on bail

Kahane relative released

A teenage relative of the late Kach founder Rabbi Meir Kahane was released on bail Thursday evening, having been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the arson attack on a mosque in the Palestinian village of Yasuf last month. A Judea and Samaria Police spokesman said the youth remains a suspect and that police would continue to investigate his alleged role in the attack. His name was not released because he is a minor. The suspect was released because police did not see a reason to hold him in custody, the spokesman said. The teenager gave an alibi for the time of the attack, which was found to be mostly accurate, but some of his answers are being examined, police said. They said the investigation was in an early phase, and that it was too soon to know if the suspect operated alone, or was part of a group. "All of that is being checked now," a police source said. Earlier in the day, undercover officers arrested the youth while he was traveling in a car with a family member in a northern Samaria settlement. Police suspect he was involved in the December 11 mosque attack, in which prayer carpets and holy books were burned. The vandals left behind Hebrew graffiti indicating the rampage was the work of settlers angry over the government's 10-month moratorium on settlement construction. Authorities suspected extreme-right elements attacked the mosque to exact a "price tag" for the moratorium, and raised concern that it would trigger violent responses. The arson attack was immediately condemned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Far-right activist Itamar Ben-Gvir accused the police of targeting the teen because he was a member of the Kahane family. "The time has come for the police to stop persecuting the Kahane family," Ben-Gvir said. Meir Kahane was a member of Knesset from 1984 and until his party was declared racist and outlawed in 1988. He was assassinated in New York on November 5, 1990. Exactly nine years ago, on December 31, 2000, Kahane's son Binyamin and his daughter-in-law Talia were killed by Palestinian snipers near Ofra, as they drove from Jerusalem to their home in Kfar Tapuah, northeast of Yasuf. The couple was survived by six children, five of whom were in the car when their parents were killed. Prior to the suspect's release on bail, his attorney, Yehuda Shoshan, told The Jerusalem Post that his client had denied all charges, adding, "I can say he gave police an alibi. He was in Tapuah for 24 hours during the period of the incident, and the alibi is now being checked." Shoshan said police had "no evidence" against the teenager. "They jumped the gun on this case, instead of doing a thorough investigation," he said. "What's most interesting is the famous family to which my client belongs. But beyond that, the police have nothing," Shoshan said. The arrest may have been made as part of an attempt to get names of additional suspects, he said.