'Let me take part in my son's brit milah'

Meir Ettinger, a rightwing activist held under administrative detention, asks court to let him participate in son's brit milah on Monday.

Orly Harari ,

Meir Ettinger at a hearing
Meir Ettinger at a hearing
Ammar Awad/Reuters

Editor's note: a previous version of this article incorrectly identified Meir Ettinger as a suspect in the deadly Duma arson. That is not the case. Ettinger has been held without charge under administrative detention for unspecified reasons.

Meir Ettinger, a rightwing activist and grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, submitted an urgent appeal on Thursday evening. He asked the court to order the prison service to let him leave next Monday, in order to participate in his son's brit milah.

Ettinger made his appeal through his lawyer, Sima Kochav from the legal defense organization Honenu. He says that he only needs a few hours.

The Be'er Sheva court will look into the request Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Ettinger was placed on administrative detention more than seven months ago. The initial order, signed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) was only for six months. About a month and a half ago, Ya'alon order it to be extended for an additional four months.

Ettinger is believed to be an influential figure within the hilltop youth movement. He was detained in the midst of the investigation into last year's deadly arson attack in Duma, though no charges tying him to the incident have been made.

Kochav says, "We submitted an urgent appeal for the regional court to instruct the Israel Prison Service to allow Ettinger to participate in his eldest son's brit milah. There is no need to expound on the importance of brit milah for the Jewish People, and even an administrative detainee has rights.

"I am hopeful that the court will accept the appeal and that Ettinger will celebrate the brit milah in a dignified manner."

Ettinger is being held in solitary confinement and is forbidden from speaking on the telephone, except to some of his family members. He recently went on a 17-day hunger strike against his conditions.



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