The courts administration announced on Sunday that the Eilat Magistrate’s Court
had extended the remand of two alleged masterminds of one of the largest
security breaches in recent memory – the illegal smuggling of 270 Palestinians
from the West Bank to Eilat.
The actual decision, which was handed down
on Friday, extended the remand until Monday for the police to carry out an
additional six investigative activities.
The 270 Palestinians are under
house arrest in an Eilat hotel, the two suspects lawyers’ said, quoting a police
representative in court.
The two alleged mastermind suspects were
arrested on May 2 and May 3, respectively.
The expected charges against
them are receiving money under deceptive circumstances and conspiracy to commit
The prosecution asked to keep the suspects in custody four
more days before needing to file an indictment, saying the suspects were
dangerous and that freeing them could obstruct the
Evidence was submitted along with a secret report
describing additional investigative activities that need to be
The court said that after reviewing the evidence and the
secret report, it found a reasonable suspicion that the suspects committed the
crimes they are suspected of.
The court agreed with the prosecution’s
assertion that their early release could compromise the investigation and public
The defense lawyers said that it was discrimination to go after
these suspects and not the 270 others.
But the court retorted that in the
secret report, it becomes clear that these two defendants masterminded the
entire operation and are suspected of more serious crimes than the
Overall, the court noted that the crimes in question “are of the
gravest nature, since even assuming that the 270 persons were good-faith
tourists, just as the 270 seemingly innocent persons succeeded in entering
Israeli territory, it would also be possible to bring in others who were less
innocent, and who knows what could happen?” The court added that law enforcement
would need to conduct an internal investigation to find out how such a massive
security breach occurred.
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