National Union’s Uri Ariel says ‘if a person who transfers information about IDF movements is a spy, then I am a spy’; Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin was found to having given right-wing activists information on IDF earlier Sunday.
National Union MK Uri Ariel confessed last week to giving Israeli settlers information on the Israel Defense Forces’ movements, even before it was discovered Sunday that Likud MK and coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin divulged similar information.
Ariel, during a Knesset committee meeting last Thursday, said that numerous times he had transferred information to settlers on IDF movements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
“If a person who transfers information about IDF movements is a spy, then I am a spy,” Ariel said during a discussion on law enforcement in the settlements. “If others were arrested, I should be arrested as well.”
Earlier Sunday, Haaretz revealed that Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin contacted right-wing activists to inform them of IDF movements in the West Bank.
Earlier in the day five right-wing extremists were charged by Jerusalem’s District Prosecutor’s Office with tracking Israel Defense Forces operations in the West Bank in an attempt to disrupt attempts to evacuate illegal outposts.
The five allegedly formed an intelligence hub based on telephone communications, utilizing 30 different sources, including active IDF service members.
However, the list of sources used by the activists and revealed to Haaretz indicated later Sunday that these sources also included right-wing Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin.
According to police investigation materials, an unusual movement of army forces was noted by several of the intelligence hub’s sources on Sunday, December 11, 2011.
Activists then suspected that it was the army’s intent to demolish structures in either the Ramat Gilad or the Mitzpe Yitzhar outposts, settlements which the state was obligated to evacuate due to a High Court of Justice ruling.
Eventually no evacuation took place, but records kept by the defendants indicated that in the midst of uncertainty as to the army’s movements MK Elkin reported to the group: “It isn’t Ramat Gilad.”
If indeed Elikn tipped off the right-wing activists, it would serve to affirm claims made by several of the defendants’ aides that their activity represented legitimate and open protest, in which several MKs such as Elkin took part.
In response, Elkin told Haaretz that “since I was involved in the inner workings of the Ramat Gilad affair and there were rumors that they were going to evacuate it I checked with whomever I checked with that it wasn’t true and I texted Orit Struk and [Shomron council head] Gershon Mesika about it and I think that’s it.”
“I said it wasn’t Ramat Gilad and that the rumors that the deal is going to be undone aren’t true,” Elkin added.