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Following a 10-month undercover investigation, police during the early morning hours arrested” Lehava” (להב”ה – למניעת התבוללות בארץ הקודש) (Preventing Assimilation in the Holy Land) Director Bentzion Gupstein and nine associates from the organization on suspicion of arson and calling for acts of terrorism and violence in their battle against assimilation involving the Arab community.
Gupstein was apprehended in his Hebron home. A search of his home was carried out as well. The suspects will be remanded on Tuesday 24 Kislev. Police will request holding them without bail.
Attorney Itamar Ben-Givir is representing Gupstein. He told the media “the police are panicking as the left-wing extremists including leftist politicians are applying a great deal of pressure”. Ben-Givir insists the organization operates in the framework of the law.
Ben-Givir told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) that the so-called “calls of racism” simply refer to Gupstein’s calls to stop employing Arabs, adding “if this warrants the establishment of a special investigation that works on the case for ten months, then there is something seriously wrong with this country”.
Police add that the three suspects arrested two weeks ago http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/274677/arrests-made-in-arson-attack-against-du-leshoni-school-in-yerushalayim.html in connection with the arson attack against the Jerusalem Israeli/Arab Du-Leshoni School are also affiliated with Lehava.
Indictments were filed against the three on Monday, 23 Kislev, in the Jerusalem District Court. The suspects, who were handcuffed in line with protocol, smiled during the preceding and enjoyed support from friends and family members, some wearing tee-shirts with their names while others shouting “we are proud of you”.
Indictments were handed down against YG of Jerusalem (20) and brothers RT (20) and NT (18) of Betar Illit. Charges against them include breaking & entering, arson and destruction of property. YG is also being charged with illegal possession of a knife.
YWN-ISRAEL adds that it is interesting how the mainstream Israeli media portrays certain events at times. In the example of these arrests, Ynet English does not refer to the group as an organization combating assimilation and intermarriage, but an “Anti-Coexistence group”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)