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Nazi salute by one of gang members
Photo courtesy of Israel Police
One of suspects in court
Photo: Avi Moalem
8 Neo-Nazi gang members sent to jail
Young men convicted of attacking drug addicts, homosexuals, skullcap wearers, foreign workers sentenced to one to seven years in prison. Judge: These are horrifying actions no Jew can accept
Violent gang members going to prison. The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday sentenced to prison terms eight young men convicted of membership in a neo-Nazi gang operating in central Israel.

 

The gravest punishment given to one of the gang members was seven years in jail.

 

Judge Zvi Gurfinkel wrote in the ruling, "These are horrifying actions no Jews can accept."

 

As part of the organization, which also included three minors who were also convicted, the gang members drank alcohol, took photos with a Nazi salute and spoke of the Nazi ideology. The first convict, Arik Buanitov, who was sentenced to seven years in prison, preached the Nazi ideology to his friends.

 

On various occasions, gang members would attack different people, be it for the color of their skin or for their ethnic affiliations. The group called itself "Patrol 36" and chose a skull as its logo.

 

"We have recently marked the 70th anniversary of Krystallnacht (Nazi pogrom) around the world and here, before us, we see event reminiscent of those dark times," Judge Gurfinkel wrote in his ruling.

 

"The fact that these are Jews who immigrated to Israel and have chosen to adopt racial theories is grave. The notion that they did so in order to please others is unacceptable… there is no manner in which the court can be lenient, despite the circumstances and the defendants' young age," added the justice.

 

Plea bargains

The affair was cleared for publication last September, when the police arrested eight young men, aged 16 to 21, belonging to a Nezo-Nazi cell, on suspicion of brutally assaulting innocent people, particularly drug addicts, homosexuals skullcaps wearers and foreign workers.

 

The men searched for their victims at Tel Aviv's central bus station and Carmel Market.

 

According to the indictment, ICQ records showed that the main suspect, Eli Buanitov, a 19-year-old known as "Nazi Eli", intended to conduct a ceremony for his fellow neo-Nazis in which they would "swear their allegiance to Hitler and vow to preserve the white race with the last drop of their blood."

 

Over the past year, the State Prosecutor's Office signed plea bargains with the accused, four of whom were convicted in April by the Tel Aviv District Court.

 

The four, including Alex Flich, 20, from the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, as well as three other minors, were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, assault and incitement to racism.

 

Shortly afterwards, the State signed another plea bargain with 20-year-old Arik Buanitov of Petah Tikvah, who was convicted of 10 counts of racially-motivated assault. The State also signed a plea bargain with a 17-year-old youth from Holon, who confessed and was convicted of two counts of violence.

 

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