Rabbi faces arrest over 'kill' book

The Israeli police have issued an arrest warrant for the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Lior, over his endorsement of a book that discusses the halachah of killing of non-Jews.

The arrest warrant, issued last week, has caused uproar in religious settler circles.

Rabbi Lior is considered one of the central spiritual leaders of the religious right in Israel.

Police have been seeking Rabbi Lior for questioning for the past six months over the rabbinical endorsement he wrote on the book Torat Ha-Melech, published in November 2009 and written by Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur.

The book's authors wrote that the killing of non-Jews would be permissible whenever they are endangering the lives of Jews and in time of war.

According to one of the opinions cited in Torat Ha-Melech, during war even the children of the enemy can be killed.

Last August, following media reports on the book, the police began investigating its authors on suspicion of incitement and called in for questioning the rabbis who endorsed the book.

One of the rabbis subsequently revoked his endorsement. Rabbi Lior has so far refused to be questioned, maintaining that the police have no jurisdiction in matters of halachah.

    Last updated: 12:28pm, February 10 2011