Shin Bet security service officials say their actions against extreme right-wing activists have led to a significant reduction in violent incidents against Palestinians.
Senior Shin Bet officials, from the unit monitoring the activists’ activity in the West Bank, made the statement recently at an internal defense establishment meeting dealing with events in the extreme right.
The speakers attributed the reduction in violence − which they labeled “terror” − to the restraining orders issued to 25 far-right activists, prohibiting them from entering the West Bank, as well as numerous indictments filed against the activists.
Five of these indictments are on charges of gathering information about army and police activities.
Following right-wing activists’ night of rioting in the western West Bank on December 12, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed the security services to hold settlers in administrative detention and bring them before a military court.
Although these steps were not taken, 12 restraining orders were issued to rightist activists, ordering them out of the West Bank, in addition to 13 previously-issued orders.
The Shin Bet intended to issue administrative detention orders for three activists, but these were shelved after two of them were arrested for other offenses.
A source in the police’s central unit based in the West Bank told Haaretz that the turning point in the violence against Palestinians came following indictments against five activists, who allegedly gathered information on the Israel Defense Forces’ activities and conspired to riot.
The five are Efi Haikin, Elad Meir, Meir Ettinger, Akiva Hacohen and David Eliyahu.
The source said the indictment “surprised the rightist activists and deterred them. They thought they were immune to charges, but we surprised them. They’ve been under house arrest for the past three-and-a-half months.”
In recent months a Golani Brigade soldier and two young women have been charged with destroying Palestinian property, and a minor was charged with vehicular arson in the Nabi Elias village, in the northern West Bank.
The Shin Bet would not comment on this story.
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