Israel jails neo-Nazi gang members for up to seven years
The sentences delivered as part of the plea bargains that the prosecution set for each of the defendants.
The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday sentenced eight neo-Nazi gang members exposed last year in Petah Tikva from one to seven years in prison.
The court stated that the phenomenon revealed during the investigation of the case is extremely severe, shocking and horrifying - particularly in light of the fact that the suspects were all youths and immigrants from the Commonwealth of Independent states.
According to the original indictment, filed last September, the eight defendants - mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union between the ages of 17 and 20 - perpetrated violent hate crimes against Asians, religious Jews, drug addicts and homosexuals.
The indictments included charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, assault, racial incitement and the distribution of racist materials.
The police investigation into the cell began over a year ago, following two incidents of vandalism against Petah Tikva synagogues. Police detectives found neo-Nazi materials on the computers of two suspects.
The video clips found on the computers showed the suspects, along with other people dressed in typical skinhead, neo-Nazi clothes, in the process of assaulting their victims.
These videos led detectives working on the case to suspect that the gang had attacked dozens of people in the Tel Aviv area, mostly foreign workers and drug addicts. In one video, they are seen approaching a foreign worker as he is talking on a public telephone, punching him in the face and breaking a bottle over his head. Violently loud music accompanies each clip, and between segments, the suspects spliced swastikas and other Nazi symbols.
According to the material on their computers, the suspects also planned to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum and memorial.