Yesh Atid leader: Right-wing Jewish extremists have ‘wider circles of support’


(JTA) — Knesset member Yair Lapid urged the Shin Bet security service to take stronger action to counter Jewish terrorism.

In a letter to the head of the Shin Bet security service and Israel’s police chief, Lapid, who leads the Yesh Atid party, wrote “the circles of violence and incitement of Jewish terror can no longer be attributed to just a few dozen ‘isolated’ youths living in specific settlement places,” the Times of Israel reported, citing coverage on the Hebrew-language Ynet news site Thursday.

“Surrounding these young people are wider circles of support — ideological, political, and likely also operational,” Lapid’s letter continued, adding that “it is impossible to deal with Jewish terror without broader police and Shin Bet treatment of the incitement that leads to it.”

Lapid described right-wing Jewish extremists as “a direct threat to Israeli sovereignty.”

Lapid’s letter came a day after video was released showing friends of suspected Jewish terrorists at a wedding celebrating the firebombing killing of a Palestinian family.

According to the Times of Israel, some right-wing Knesset members have accused the Shin Bet of leaking the video to justify its treatment of Jewish terror suspects being held in administrative detention, or imprisonment without charges.

Family and attorneys of several detainees have claimed the Shin Bet tortured the detainees during interrogation, a charge both the Shin Bet and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have denied.

In an interview with Ynet, Lapid said, “We need to start to act against the incitement, against the background from which it grows, to make arrests, to investigate, to broaden the quality of intelligence … The law for Jewish terror is the same as the law for Arab terror. And they both threaten Israeli sovereignty.”

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