Israeli police arrest 15 over campaign to stop Jew-Arab dating
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 on Oct. 22.
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 eight million population.