Lahav 433
Lahav 433Flash 90

Three family members, who are activists in the Jewish Home party, were brought in for questioning by Lahav 433's (Israel Police's crime investigation organization) cyber unit under the suspicion that they sent out misleading text messages that stated that Religious Zionism's voting slips contain the letter "bet" and not "tet."

During election day, the two parents and their son, who lives in the center of the country and ran an election campaign for the party, allegedly sent out thousands of text messages. The messages read: "The time has come for Ben-Gvir, we need a strong right wing. Vote bet!!!"

Israel Police stated: "After receiving the complaint, the cyber investigators began to trace those who sent the messages; yesterday, after they were found, they were detained for questioning with a warning, under the suspicion of passing on false information according to Article 3 of the Computer Law, the attempt to receive something fraudulent and disrupting the elections, 197 of the penal code. After questioning the three were released under restrictive conditions."

On Wednesday, the Central Election Committee accepted the petition by Religious Zionism against the Jewish Home and determined that the latter grossly violated the "Propaganda Law" by sending the messages.

In reaction to the petition, Jewish Home's attorney stated that the party "is not behind the messages mentioned in the petition." Later on, the party released a corrected statement and confessed that, "After an inquiry by the party's campaign headquarters it would appear that a campaign worker was behind the text messages."

The Election Committee's ruling states, "It is best if the respondent would not have made a statement before looking into the matter. The respondent should have mentioned in its statement that a full inquiry was not yet made while specifying the steps that were taken and those which it intends on taking to learn all of the facts."

The Elections Committee ruled that Jewish Home is to bear the legal expenses and pay Religious Zionism a sum of 15,000 NIS.