Israel’s Justice Ministry has indicted five right-wing Jewish extremists in a connection with an attack on an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) base in the West Bank last month, the Associated Press has reported.
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the five were charged this morning with monitoring IDF movements in the West Bank, possessing classified military material, and organising the storming of the Ephraim Brigade base near Qalqiliya on Dec. 13, during which dozens of settlers and their supporters vandalized property and attacked military personnel.
The five will remain in custody until the end of proceedings. The raid was orchestrated in the hope of scuppering Israel’s efforts to evacuate unauthorised settlement outposts in the West Bank, and follows an increase in attacks by extremists on mosques and private Palestinian property.
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The so-called “price tag” attacks are believed to be in protest against concessions made to the Palestinians by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu, Haaretz reports.
Representing the five defendants, the right-wing Israeli NGO Honenu said that Israel “was crossing all the lines when it submits an indictment dealing with organised demonstrations”.
Israeli leaders called for a crackdown on Jewish radicals in the aftermath of last month’s military base attack, with Netanyahu stating that radical Israelis would be treated in the same manner as suspected Palestinian militants, who are detained for long periods without charge and tried in military courts, according to the New York Times.
On Thursday Israeli police issued restraining orders barring a dozen settlers suspected of inciting violence from entering the West Bank, the BBC reported.
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