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TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel has arrested a right-wing Jewish activist who is the grandson of the late ultra-Zionist Meir Kahane.
Meir Ettinger, 24, appeared in court on Tuesday, where he was ordered to be held until Sunday, his lawyer told NBC News.
Officials did not say whether he was suspected of being linked to Friday’s deadly arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma killed an 18-month-old Palestinian boy and badly wounded his family. Jewish extremists have been blamed for that incident.
On Sunday, Israel's security cabinet approved the detention without trial of citizens suspected of violence against Palestinians.
Ettinger was arrested on accusations of unlawful association and plotting a crime, his lawyer Yuval Zemer told NBC News. Zemer said he did not know what had prompted the security services to reportedly classify Ettinger number-one on the most-wanted on a list of Jewish extremists.
Ettinger’s grandfather Kahane was a U.S.-born rabbi who advocated expelling Arabs from Israel and Palestinian territories. Kahane led the Kach party, which was banned in 1988 for being "racist" and "anti-democratic." He was assassinated in New York in 1990.
In July 30 entry in his blog, Ettinger criticized the government’s “sin of allowing idol worship here, particularly churches and monasteries, in the Land of Israel, where the sound of church bells interferes with the pleasant sound of Torah and prayer.”
The blog post added: “There is no terror organization, but there are many, many Jews, many more than one might think, whose value systems are completely different from those of the Supreme Court or the [Israeli General Security Service] GSS, and who are not bound by the ignorant laws of the state."
Israeli officials say Ettinger lived in the settlement of Har Bracha near Nablus in the West Bank until nine or 10 months ago when he was barred from entering the occupied territories and Jerusalem.