The wife of one of several Jewish men from Samaria (Shomron) sent to jail for warning outpost residents of impending expulsions told Arutz Sheva that the lack of support from the political right and religious world has been painful.
"I'm appalled that everyone is pleased about the plea bargain," said Ayelet Hashachar Cohen. "I'm appalled that everyone is silent. On the Right, nobody is standing up against this."
She defended her husband, Akiva, and his friends, who were charged with illegally collecting military information, after having originally been accused of espionage. "All they wanted was to tell other people that they were going to be expelled from their homes, so that they wouldn't drag them out naked in the middle of the night," she said.
"They connected it to 'price tag' and turned us into extremists," she continued. "Unfortunately, the left-wing media has reached our community as well, and that hurts. Nobody stood behind us.
"This was about comradery, about helping our brothers. Anyone who has been evicted or seen their home destroyed knows how much it hurts. So my husband and his friends wanted to know when the expulsions would be, that's all. People see me in the street and tell me we are guilty of spying, it's simply shameful what is happening here."
Akiva Hacohen and others were given administrative orders in 2011, which effectively split them from their families. He was jailed shortly before his wife gave birth to the couple's fifth child, then sentenced to house arrest for months, with limits that left him unable to run the family business.
The family ultimately agreed to the plea bargain after despairing of a better outcome, Ayelet Hacohen explained. "We knew the truth wouldn't come to light [in court]. So in order to stop our suffering, we agreed to go with the known outcome."
Attorney Adi Kedar, who represented Hacohen and four others, told Arutz Sheva that the plea bargain was a painful compromise. It was not a satisfying resolution, he said, but it highlighted the absurdity of the prosecution's approach.