Prisoner (illustration)
Prisoner (illustration) Thinkstock

A young Jewish resident of Ma'ale Adumim to the east of Jerusalem was arrested on Tuesday night in a controversial administrative arrest lasting half-a-year, in an order signed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud).

Under the administrative detention, a relic from the British mandate period used almost exclusively against Arab terrorists until now, the youth faces six months of endlessly renewable detention without any evidence required.

The Jewish youth, identified as Mordechai Mayer, just two days ago was given an administrative house arrest order and distancing order from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, Yad Binyamin, and Tzfat (Safed).

He was released last week after an extended arrest on suspicion of being involved in an arson attack on a church in the north.

The Honenu legal aid organization responded to the administrative arrest, calling it "a loss of control by the Defense Ministry."

"The fact that just two days ago the same youth was given an administrative house arrest order, and already it's been decided to 'upgrade' the order to an administrative arrest, shows the populist management of the authorities," wrote Honenu.

"We firmly oppose the use of administrative arrests and orders against Jews," continued the group. "The draconian use of these orders bypasses the courts, and essentially makes the existence of the state of Israel redundant."

The Justice Ministry confirmed on Tuesday night that the attorney general gave security sources permission to conduct several administrative arrests against nationalist activists.

In a meeting held Tuesday morning the attorney general made the decision that the administrative arrests are permissible under certain conditions, according to the Justice Ministry, which said the authority to conduct the arrests is in the hands of Defense Minister Ya'alon.

The administrative arrest comes after two Jewish activists were arrested in the last two days, on threat of having their arrest turned into an administrative arrest.

Avitar Slonim was arrested on Tuesday, a day after Jewish activist Meir Ettinger - the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane - was also arrested, both on vague suspicions of "Jewish extremist activity."

Ettinger's attorney has charged that the Israel Security Agency (ISA) has used illegal violent interrogation methods against Ettinger.