Israel Charges Five Settlers With Army Base Rampage [View all]
JERUSALEM | Sun Jan 8, 2012 12:45pm EST
(Reuters) - Israel charged five Jewish settlers on Sunday with orchestrating a riot in an army base in the West Bank in a bid to foil plans to dismantle illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The December 13 rampage sparked outrage in Israel where the conscript military is a revered institution and a symbol of unity. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged a swift crackdown against the perpetrators.
Israel continues to expand larger settlements in land Palestinians seek for a state, but has taken steps to evacuate smaller outposts built without government authorization.
The four-page charge document said the men, who had been arrested shortly after the attack, had sought to thwart the eviction of unauthorized settlements. It listed seven counts including conspiring to riot, illegally entering a military base and tracking army movement in the West Bank.