5 indicted for W. Bank IDF base attack

Suspects charged with tracking IDF movements in attempt to thwart outpost evacuations; IDF soldiers allegedly aided them.

Israeli police scuffle with settlers_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Israeli police scuffle with settlers_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday indicted five right-wing activists suspected of involvement in the so-called 'price tag' attack on the IDF's Ephraim Division military base last month.
Jerusalem district prosecutors accused the suspects of collecting important military intelligence, conspiracy to riot,  entering a closed military zone and direct involvement in the attack on the Ephraim Brigade base.
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The five suspects were named as Akiva Pinchas Hacohen, 27, from Yitzhar, Elad Meir, 36, from Machrasha, Ephraim Moshe Chaykin, 18,  from Jerusalem, Meir Etinger, 18, from Jerusalem and David Tzvi Eliyahu, 17, from Jerusalem. They were arrested in Jerusalem's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood approximately three weeks ago.
Prosecutors have requested that the suspects be detained while court proceedings against them continue.
According to the indictment, the suspects had set up a network to track the movements of IDF forces and police in the West Bank and reported on their intentions to evacuate illegal outposts in the area. Some of the information they received came from IDF soldiers.
Through the knowledge obtained of IDF movements, the suspects allegedly orchestrated rioting that disturbed the planned evacuation of outposts and the attack on the Ephraim Brigade base.
Late on December 12, a series of SMS messages and telephone calls alerted activists of troop movement in the Samaria area consistent with pre-evacuation activity.
In response, around 11:30 p.m. right-wing extremists attacked Palestinian cars in the Samaria area and injured one Palestinian woman, according to security sources.
On Route 55, the Israeli extremists surrounded an IDF vehicle. At one point, an extremist opened the vehicle’s door and threw a rock at the commander of the Ephraim Brigade, Col. Ran Cahana, according to security sources.
An IDF spokesman said that at that time, they received numerous reports of rock throwing incidents against Palestinians, not all of which were confirmed.
Around 12:30 a.m. December 13 some 30-50 Israeli extremists, including many teens, broke into the Ephraim brigade headquarters, located down a small road from the Kedumim settlement in Samaria, according to security sources.
Most of the combat soldiers normally stationed there were involved in activities outside the base, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi said.
The extremists burned tires, spread nails on a road and threw stones and paint bottles at vehicles, the IDF spokesman said.
According to Mizrahi they also punctured the tires of two vehicles. A rock was also thrown at the deputy brigade commander Harpaz Zur.
The rioters, he said, yelled at Zur, whose grandmother is a Holocaust survivor, that he was a “Nazi.”
Tovah Lazaroff and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.