5 Jews Charged for Text Messaging

Nine Jews being held in the Jerusalem’s Central Prison known as the Russian Compound were accused of espionage by government authorities. Charges of spying were dropped on Sunday morning after harsh criticism from members of Knesset and a noisy demonstration held Saturday night. See video.

Several weeks ago, army and border police forces were given the go-ahead to demolish structures in Mitzpeh Yitzhar. Through cell phone text messaging, hundreds of youth arrived. Not waiting for the demolition forces to arrive as they did in Amona, the youth went on the offense and some rioted in a temporary army base being used for the demolition.

Media reports said that 50 youth entered the base. Due to the commotion, the demolition orders that were suppose to be carried out that night between December 12 and 13 were postponed.

Five defendants

Four defendants were released but five are being charged. The offenses the prosecution ascribes to them are collecting information of military value, conspiracy to commit a riot, and entry into a military location. The five are Akiva HaCohen and Eliezer Meir (36), both of Yitzhar, and three 20-year-old men from Jerusalem: Efraim Haikin, Meir Etinger and David Eliyahu.

Adi Kedar, a lawyer from Honenu, an Israeli legal aid organization, said that there was no evidence that any of them were trying to harm soldiers and called for their release.