An “operations room” allegedly run by extreme right-wing activists about a year ago, in a bid to prevent the evacuation of illegal West Bank outposts, appears to have attracted the interest of the Federal government of the United States.
“The case was widely covered around the world,” says a source familiar with the matter.” One of the culprits, Akiva Hacohen, has an American citizenship, and was apparently followed by the FBI for a long time.
“The State Prosecutor’s Office asked for information which may be related to the case, while the Americans received material from the investigation launched against him in Israel.”
Hacohen lived in the settlement of Yitzhar and is considered one of the key extreme right-wing activists in the territories. The legal aid will likely include investigation material compiled by the FBI, which will be added to the case being held against Hacohen at the JerusalemDistrict Court.
The exchange of material is considered rare and unusual, and the State Prosecutor’s Office expects to receive the material in the coming days.
The affair was nicknamed “the outpost operations room”, and indictments were filed against five extreme right-wing activists, including Hacohen. As part of the “operations room”, they would allegedly receive text messages from different activists with information on a possible evacuation of West Bank outposts.
One of the text messages, according to the indictment, was received from Coalition Chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud).
Several months ago, dozens of right-wing activists stormed a military baseas part of a “price tag” operation. The Ephraim Brigade’s assistant commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Tzur Harpaz, was injured in the head from a stone hurled at him during the incident.
The five activists were arrested following the incident and accused of organizing the attack on the base.
The State Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that “a request for legal aid has been filed with the FBI,” but added that the only information handed over to the Americans had to do with Hacohen’s computer.
The American authorities define some of the right-wing activists as terrorists. A State Department report released in July listed the Kahane Chai movement as a terror organization alongside groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.
Following people defined as terrorists is a routine procedure in the United States.
According to the State Department report, “Kahane Chai has harassed and threatened Arabs, Palestinians, and Israeli government officials, and has vowed revenge for the death of Binyamin Kahane and his wife.
“The group is suspected of involvement in a number of low-level attacks since the start of the Palestinian Intifada in 2000… Although they have not explicitly claimed responsibility for a series of mosque burnings in the West Bank, individuals affiliated with Kahane Chai are widely suspected of being the perpetrators.”
Source: Ynet News