Jerusalem Court Accepts Plea Bargain for Activists

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Jerusalem District Court approved a plea bargain for five right-wing activists accused of illegally monitoring the activities of Israel Defense Forces troops in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

A statement released Wednesday by the State Prosecutor's Office said "the accused confessed and were found guilty of gathering intelligence on the IDF as well as conspiring to riot and break into an IDF base," Israel Hayom reported.

"Some of them will serve three-month sentences for these crimes," the statement concluded.

The case, dubbed the "outpost situation room" affair, revealed how Israeli residents infiltrated an IDF base to thwart plans to raze illegal structures in Ramat Gilad and Yitzhar. They were also accused of planning to bring busloads of right-wing activists to the base.

Honenu, the organization that provided legal representation for the five suspects, applauded the court's decision, saying "the show trial conducted against the accused has ended with the state prosecutor backing down on many counts."

Following the decision, an attorney for one of the accused said the case ended weakly.

"This indictment was entirely meant to muzzle and neutralize people whose activities the government does not like," attorney David Halevi said.

"This case, which started out like blaring trumpets, ended on a weak note. The mountain has become a molehill. I hope that the enforcement authorities do some internal housecleaning regarding the accusations," he said.

According to one report, three of the men who pleaded guilty to collecting sensitive information will spend three to five months in jail. The other two, charged with conspiracy to collect sensitive information, were given 200 hours of community service between them.

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