neo-Nazi ring 224.88.
(photo credit: Israel Police)
The Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office revealed Tuesday the lengthy charge sheet against the alleged members of a neo-Nazi gang operating in the Petah Tikva area.
Seven suspected members of the group were indicted on Tuesday morning, two days after their arrests sparked a media storm both in Israel and abroad over the very existence of such a group in the Jewish state. An eighth suspect is expected to be indicted soon.
The indictment sheet presented by prosecutor Ilan Shadi included offenses such as aggravated assault on the basis of racism, as well as owning and distributing racist literature and incitement.
Alleged gang leader Arik "Eli the Nazi" Boanayev, 20, faces additional charges including delivering threats and assault leading to injury. At least one other alleged group member is facing charges of illegal weapons possession, including firearms and explosives recovered by police.
Eleven separate charges were delivered against the suspects, and the prosecutor requested that the youths, who are all currently in detention, remain behind bars until the conclusion of the proceedings against them.
The indictment brought to light further details of the prosecution's case against the eight, claiming that the gang has been operating for at least two years. They allegedly called themselves "Patrol 35," preyed on the weak and minorities and desecrated at least two Petah Tikva synagogues.
The indictment cited alleged evidence of films posted on YouTube and the neo-Nazi Web "Format 18" Web site. It also cited text messages on cellphones indicating that Boanayev tried to arrange a birthday party for Adolf Hitler including loyalty oaths to Hitler and to the "purity of the white race."
The suspects and their family members continue to protest their innocence.
In an interview with Israel Radio on Tuesday morning, the sister of one of the suspects - who's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor - insisted that her brother was innocent of the charges. She said that her family had not witnessed any signs of Nazi behavior, and that her brother, a student at a religious school, had worked as an electrician in the Prime Minister's Office. This work, she said, was permitted only after her brother passed all required security clearances.
Three of the suspects are under the age of 18 and will be tried as minors, the prosecutors said.