25-year-old Elad Sela indicted on charges of espionage.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
An IDF soldier has been indicted on charges of espionage and disclosure of information for giving right-wing activists classified details of IDF and security services operations in the West Bank, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) cleared for publication on Monday.
The soldier, 25-year-old Elad Sela from the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin, was arrested on March 10th on suspicion of illegally passing on classified information.
He has remained in custody ever since and a strict gag order has banned all but the barest details from publication.
On Saturday night, four other suspects were brought in for questioning by Shin Bet and police investigators.
In a statement on Monday, the Shin Bet described how in recent years “a core of right-wing activists from Bat Ayin has been involved in acts of violence against security forces and Palestinians, as well as acts of vandalism against Palestinians.”
The Shin Bet said that following a series of violent attacks on Palestinians by right-wing extremists in recent months, police and soldiers entered Bat Ayin on an arrest raid earlier this year, during which they were attacked by extremists and had to fire into the air to escape safely. The Shin Bet said that the incident raised suspicions that the extremists had been warned ahead of time that the raid was coming, and launched an investigation.
The investigation was carried out by the Shin Bet along with the nationalist crimes unit of the Israel Police, which deals mainly with “price tag” incidents, acts of violence and/or vandalism committed against Arabs in protest against government policies in the settlements.