The Jerusalem District Court released five right-wing extremists to house arrest, days after being indicted for monitoring Israel Defense Forces operations in the West Bank in an attempt to thwart the demolition of illegal outposts.
On Sunday, the Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office submitted a severe indictment against the five activists, charging them with tracking army movements, possession of classified military material, and orchestrating an attack by activists on an Israel Defense Forces base.
The five charged were Akiva Hacohen and Elad Meir, David Eliyahu, Effi Heikin, and Meir Ettinger.
Speaking in court on Tuesday, officials from the Hanenu NGO, which provides legal representation to the defendants, said that the five organized a legitimate protest and there was no justification to incarcerate them.
In her ruling, judge Hana Ben Ami said that “despite the circumstances surrounding the issue, [the defendants’ actions] do not present a high level of danger”
“The indictment shows that the majority of their activities, beyond intelligence collection, centered around non-violent protests in areas patrolled by the military, including singing songs, dancing, and telling soldiers the actions they must take,” Ben Ami added.
The five were subsequently all free to full house arrest, with the court ruling large sums of money be deposited as collateral against their release. Jerusalem prosecutors asked to court to delay their release, and the ruling’s execution was postponed by 38 hours to allow the Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office to appeal it before the Supreme Court.