JERUSALEM (JTA) — Meir Ettinger, whom Israeli authorities say oversees a Jewish terrorist group, has gone on a hunger strike to protest his administrative detention.
Ettinger, the grandson of the slain far-right activist Meir Kahane, began his protest Wednesday. He was placed in detention on Aug. 15, nearly two weeks after his arrest. He reportedly was transferred recently to solitary confinement and has limited, monitored contact with his family.
He 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. His 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.
Under administrative detention, which is more commonly used for Palestinian prisoners, one can be held for six months without being charged or tried. The order can be renewed indefinitely.
Ettinger does not have American citizenship. His mother, Tova, Kahane’s daughter, made aliyah from the United States.