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Duma arson probe reveals new details of Israeli hardliner group

Revolt Group, whose members are alleged to have carried out arson killing, calls for Israel's government to be replaced with a king
Tagging and property damage are precusors to more violent activities of Revolt Group (AFP)

When investigators started to look into the July arson that killed members of the Dawabshe family, they originally believed the incident was carried out by "price tag" attackers.

But on Sunday, after a gag order was lifted, details of a months-long Shin Bet investigation revealed that the suspects now charged with murder are part of Revolt Group, which aims to topple Israel's government and replace it with a king. 

Details of the investigation, reported by Israeli Channel 2, show that members are typically between 15-24 years old, with half of the participants underage.

Members of the group often begin as Hilltop Youth, hardline settlers who live in illegal outposts in the West Bank and cause damage to properties and land belonging to Palestinians, but then move on to the more violent activities of Revolt Group, Channel 2 reported.

"Sometimes we feel fed up of just damaging properties, so we just want to burn houses with the residents inside them," one member, investigated by Shin Bet, was quoted as saying.

The group believes that the current State of Israel has no right to exist, and impedes their goals of setting up a Jewish kingdom and the building of the second temple.

It uses subversive tools to "revolt" against the current system through damaging important assets to the state, the report said.

The report said that part of the group's activities, inspired by what was described as a new anti-Zionist ideology, is to hurt others as an act of rebellion against the government, especially Palestinians.

"Israel has no right to be, and we are not required to play by the rules of the game," the same member reportedly told Shin Bet.

The group considers the Israeli government as foreign and non-legitimate, he added.

"Because there is no chance for us today to build an organised movement under the current system, our goal is to build cells in a number of places, and with the help of these cells they will build something bigger and will be able to disseminate our ideology to the rest of the settlers," the member said. 

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