American settler 'not Tapuah resident'

Settlement spokesman: "Community does its best not to harbor criminals."

Jewish terrorist 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Jewish terrorist 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The Haifa District Attorney's Office on Wednesday indicted American-born Jeffrey Seth on charges of trying to smuggle weapons into Israel in a cargo crate that he tried to bring in through Haifa Port. Seth, 39, who moved here from North Carolina in March, was arrested in the settlement of Tapuah, south of Nablus. He did not declare the items and tried to conceal them by building a double wall in the crate. According to the indictment, police and port officials found a sniper rifle (listed as lethal on the charge sheet), a dart firing gun and raw materials for manufacturing bullets, including a bullet-making machine, two liters of gunpowder, 6,500 empty bullet casings and other components. The state charged that Seth did not have a permit to import the weapons and that he intended to use them against Arabs in accordance with his ideological beliefs. Seth's lawyer, Lior Bar-Zohar, told The Jerusalem Post that his client legally purchased the materials in the US and that it was likely that Seth did not know that he was doing anything illegal by bringing them into Israel. Bar-Zohar quoted Seth as saying he had intended to offer the sniper rifle to Israeli security forces, because it was a relatively new model. Asked if he ever thought of using the gun on Palestinians, Seth told Israel Radio, "Well, I can't say that the thought didn't cross my mind every time you see a suicide attack." However, Bar-Zohar said the prosecution should not have included the allegation that Seth had intended to use the weapons against Arabs, because an intensive investigation by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) had not proven such a charge. According to Bar-Zohar, the state included the allegation to create the impression that the case was of greater security importance than it actually was. Seth was arrested two weeks ago but was not allowed to see a lawyer during his interrogation. The court issued a publication ban on the case until Wednesday. Tapuah spokesman Moshe Sadorof said that Seth was not and had never been a member of their settlement. He said it was only by chance that Seth was in Tapuah at the time of his arrest. The community does its best to make sure that it does not harbor criminals and that its members are law abiding, he said. It is upsetting that there continue to be attempts to link the settlement with those who break the law, said Sadorof. Tovah Lazaroff and AP contributed to this report.