Israeli police arrest 15 over campaign to stop Jew-Arab dating

In this file photo, an Israeli policeman uses pepper spray against a Palestinian medic during clashes outside Ramallah, West Bank. Israeli police have arrested 15 suspected Jewish extremists over campaign to stop Jew-Arab dating. (AP)
Updated 22 October 2017
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Israeli police arrest 15 over campaign to stop Jew-Arab dating

JERUSALEM: Israeli police have arrested 15 suspected Jewish extremists following an undercover investigation into a group accused of tracking down and threatening Arab men dating Jewish women, authorities said Sunday.
Israeli radio said that among those taken in for questioning was Benzi Gopstein, a prominent leader of the extreme-right group Lehava, but police would not confirm or deny the reports.
Arrests and searches for evidence were carried out simultaneously at addresses in Jerusalem, northern and southern Israel and in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, police said.
“Fifteen suspects known to the police as active in the Lehava organization were arrested or detained for questioning during the night as part of a police investigation on suspicion that they acted to locate and threaten (Arab) minority members with connections to Jewish young women or girls,” a police statement said.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that the suspects were being interrogated and it was not yet clear whether any would be charged.
Lehava opposes inter-marriage. In August 2014, its activists staged a rally where racist slogans, including “Death to Arabs!,” were shouted at the wedding near Tel Aviv of a Muslim man and Jewish woman.
Arabs account for some 17.5 percent of Israel’s 8 million population, and are descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land following the creation of Israel in 1948.
In April, six Israelis, including two soldiers, were arrested for racist attacks against Arabs with knives and other weapons and charged with “terrorist” offenses.
Police said they were influenced by a Lehava video.
Gopstein was also questioned by police in 2015 after he condoned torching churches in Israel.
The police statement said that the latest arrests were the result of an undercover investigation.
“It uncovered organized and pre-meditated activity believed to have been carried out by the suspects, known members of Lehava,” it said.


Suspected militants kill 3 workers in Egypt’s Sinai

Updated 44 min 56 sec ago
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Suspected militants kill 3 workers in Egypt’s Sinai

  • Six militants have been killed in two separate raids by security forces targeting hideouts in northern Sinai
  • Egyptian security forces have for years been battling militants led by Daesh

EL-ARISH, Egypt: Egyptian security officials say three workers contracted to build a security wall in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish have been shot dead by suspected militants.
The officials say a fourth worker was wounded in the attack, which took place Saturday outside their homes.
The officials say six militants have been killed in two separate raids by security forces targeting hideouts in northern Sinai. The Saturday raids left two policemen wounded following shootouts.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Egyptian security forces have for years been battling militants, now led by Daesh, in northern Sinai. The insurgency picked up steam after the 2013 ouster of an elected but divisive Islamist president.