Samaria Base Vandalism: Defendants Used 'Scouts'

Suspects aged 20 to 36 were allegedly directly responsible for the incident at Ephraim Regiment base.

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Gil Ronen,

The five defendants
The five defendants
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Five Jewish men aged 20 to 36 were charged Sunday with planning and carrying out a December 12 riot in an IDF base in Samaria.

The State Attorney (Jerusalem District) accused the five defendants of "setting up an 'outpost war room'; following movements by the police and army and collecting information that reached them from 'outlooks', 'followers' and 'scouts', including soldiers in active service, sometimes from inside army bases, all with the intent of preventing the evacuation of illegal outposts in Samaria that the government had committed itself to evicting."

According to daily newspaperYisrael Hayom, the prosecution described the defendants as directly responsible for the riot at the Ephraim Regiment base. 

The defendants are Akiva HaCohen (27) and Eliezer Meir (36), both of Yitzhar, and three 20-year-old men from Jerusalem: Efraim Haikin, Meir Etinger and David Eliyahu.

The offenses the prosecution ascribes to them are collection of information of military value, conspiracy to commit a riot and entry into a military location.

The charge sheet says that the state planned to raze illegal structures at Mitzpeh Yitzhar on the night between December 12 and 13, but the plan was thwarted by the defendants. They allegedly broke into the Ephraim Regimental Base and began to riot.

Large military forces had to be diverted to the area, and the eviction of Mitzpeh Yitzhar had to be put off, the charge sheets say.