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Israeli court indicts 5 right-wing extremists

By Michal Zippori, CNN
updated 7:09 AM EST, Mon January 9, 2012
Jewish rightwing protesters demonstrate in front of the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem on January. 7, 2012.
Jewish rightwing protesters demonstrate in front of the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem on January. 7, 2012.
  • The extremists are accused of collecting military information
  • Authorities also allege they organized a break-in at a military base
  • They are suspected in a December 13 attack on an Israel Defense Forces base

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Five Israeli right-wing extremists have been indicted by an Israeli court which accused them of attempting to prevent the demolition of illegal settlements in the West Bank, organizing a break-in at a military base and planning riots.

The extremists are also suspected of masterminding an attack on an Israel Defense Forces base in the West Bank on December 13. In that incident, about 50 extremists infiltrated and attacked the Ephraim Regional Division Headquarters.

The activists entered the base, damaged property, set tires on fire, threw stones and damaged vehicles, according to an IDF statement at the time. A commander's car was attacked, and he sustained minor injuries.

Sectarian divide brewing in Israel
Right-wing attack on Israeli base

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the incident "crossed all lines." And Matan Vilnai, deputy defense minister, called the perpetrators "Jewish terrorists" in an interview on army radio.

Israeli media reported in December that the attack came in response to rumors that Israeli security forces were about to demolish two illegal outposts in the West Bank.

The indictment alleges the extremists operated from an apartment in Jerusalem, where they gathered intelligence information through surveillance, lookouts and patrols of Israeli troops. The intelligence was aimed at preventing "the evacuation of outposts by illegal means" and to prevent IDF operations, said the indictment, which was presented in court Sunday.

"The indictment exposes the true and ugly face of the prosecution that proves once again the blatant discrimination against the settlers," said Adi Keidar, an attorney representing three of the five.

The suspects are also being questioned about "price tag" attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, according to Israeli police. "Price tag" is a term used to describe attacks by Israeli extremists against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in retaliation for any action taken against settlers.

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