Israeli baby-killer remanded for belonging to militant Jewish group

Meir Ettinger

Israel has remanded the Jewish extremist suspected of burning alive 18-month old Ali Dawabsha for following an alleged “crackdown” against militant Jews.

On Tuesday, authorities arrested Meir Ettinger, a high-profile activist accused of leading a new movement of settler youths who carry out violence in the name of the “purity of the Holy Land”.

Ettinger, 23, was arrested for “involvement in an extremist Jewish organization.”

Baby Ali was killed last week when two homes were set on fire in Duma village in occupied West Bank, with graffiti on the walls reading “revenge”.

The parents of Ali and his four-year-old brother were also injured in last Friday’s attack.

Up to 75 percent of their bodies suffered burns, according to medics in Nablus’ Rafidia hospital.

The Israeli regime has recently implemented “administrative detention” policy, which is typically used against Palestinians, who can be held for months or even years without charge or trial.

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The measure is rarely applied to Israelis. Israel has defended the administrative detention of Palestinians as a “necessary tool for preventing militant attacks”.

The Palestinians are also taking action to try to prevent future attacks. The Palestinian leadership has begun forming civilian patrol groups across the West Bank, where Palestinians who say they feel unsafe are hoping to ward off attacks by Jewish extremists.

These self-defense committees are expected to be established in some 100 villages in an area of the West Bank in which Israel has full control over security, according to Gassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in the city of Nablus who is in charge of monitoring attacks by Jewish extremists.

Palestinian security forces cannot operate in that area, known as Area C, without coordinating with Israel first.

The groups scour the outskirts of their villages carrying bats and flashlights and looking out for any encroachers. If they spot suspicious activity, the village’s mosque blares out a warning to residents to be on guard.

The self-defense groups have been formed previously after attacks, but their patrols tend to peter out because the members are volunteers and their effectiveness is limited.

“Now there is a real need for such groups as the (Jewish extremists) are escalating their attacks,” said Daghlas.

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