9 settler teens from extremist youth group arrested in Jerusalem


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Police arrested nine settler teens from the extremist Hilltop Youth group at a Jerusalem apartment.

The teens were staying at the apartment, which was set up for the group. Its members are barred from entering the West Bank and may not have contact with each other.

A gag order has been placed on Monday’s arrests and the investigation against the teens.

The apartment was established by Elkana Pikar, a resident of the Yitzhar settlement in the West Bank and a father of six who also is barred from the West Bank. The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, alleges that he poses a danger to security for hosting the extremist teens at his home.

Pikar, a building contractor, claims the teens work for him and he is providing them with food and a place to eat. He is accused of violence against Palestinians and Israeli security services.

Pikar told Ynet that the teens work in temporary jobs during the day and gather at the Jerusalem apartment in the evening to study Torah.

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