Did Protest Cause Spy Charges to be Dropped?

About 400 people protested the state's intention to file espionage charges against nationalist IDF vandalism suspects.

Gil Ronen & Yoni Kempinski ,

Protest Saturday night.
Protest Saturday night.
Israel news photo: Yoni Kempinski

A relatively large protest outside a police detention facility at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem may have influenced the Prosecution's decision to omit espionage charges from indictments filed against five people charged with infiltrating an IDF base in Judea and Samaria.

The charges were filed Sunday morning in Jerusalem District Court.

The demonstration took place Saturday night outside the facility where nine residents of Judea and Samaria are held on suspicion of entering the base. About four hundred people showed up including the pupils of one of the suspects, Rav Elad Meir.

The pupils stepped up to a microphone and called to the rabbi: "We miss you and you are our hero!"

Speakers at the protest included rabbis and activists from the Honenu NGO, which assists Jewish nationalists accused of crimes.

The suspects are accused of gathering information on military movements and infiltrating an army base in Samaria last month, where they allegedly vandalized military equipment and clashed with soldiers .       after finding out that the army planned to demolish the Ramat Gilad outpost