Two arrested for smuggling Palestinians to Eilat

Two alleged masterminds are held for the illegal smuggling of 270 Palestinians from the West Bank to Eilat.

Eilat’s Almog Beach 370 (photo credit: Gal Ayal/SPNI)
Eilat’s Almog Beach 370
(photo credit: Gal Ayal/SPNI)
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 a misdemeanor.
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 investigation.
Evidence was submitted along with a secret report describing additional investigative activities that need to be undertaken.
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 safety.
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 others.
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.