Efrat settlement 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )
Two of the five “spying settlers,” Elad Meir and David Eliyahu, were convicted
in a plea bargain on Thursday of running a “war room” to track military
movements and block any IDF actions to demolish illegal outposts.
were sentenced to 220 hours of community service each.
The sentences were
much more lenient than originally expected, according to previous statements by
Two other “spying settlers” were sentenced on June 9 to
91 days in prison each, while the fifth is expected to get a longer combined
sentence in the future in connection with a separate case against
The settlers – Meir, Eliyahu, Akiva Hacohen, Ephraim Moshe Chaykin
and Meir Ettinger – were convicted of charges that included providing to others
military information about the IDF, conspiracy to commit a felony and disturbing
Originally, the prosecution hoped to convict the five of
spying and of masterminding and coordinating an attack against the Ephraim
near Kedumim in December 2011, during which 50 activists shocked
the nation by storming the base, attacking the deputy brigade commander, burning
tires, spreading nails on a road and throwing stones and paint bottles at
Against that backdrop, the proposed sentences under the plea
agreement – three to five months in prison for some of the activists and only
community service for others – were far more lenient than expected.
why, the State Attorney’s Office previously responded that it was due to the
evidentiary and litigation complications, balanced with sending an unequivocal
message that the actions were criminal.
The settlers’ attorneys, on the
other hand, previously said the state had seen reason, realizing it had no
According to the indictment that the settlers admitted to as part
of the plea agreement, active soldiers from the Golani and other brigades as
well as nonsoldiers passed on information to the settlers regarding military
movements, via text messages and cellphones.
The activists set up a “war
room” and operated a hotline in an apartment they shared in Jerusalem, which had
classified aerial maps and information about deployments and movements of
troops, as well as other classified information.
The Ephraim Brigade
incident was the most serious in a series of so-called “price tag” attacks by
right-wing activists against Palestinians and the IDF at the time.