An investigation into the right-wing activists
who are charged with rioting
and collecting intelligence about IDF
activity in the West Bank found Sunday that MK Zeev Elkin, the chairman of the coalition, was one of the sources who leaked information to the defendants.
According to the findings, Elkin informed one of the settlers via text message that the security forces do not intend to raze the Ramat Gilad outpost
on the night of December 12. "It's not Ramat Gilad," he texted.
MK Elkin said that he only attempted to prevent a clash: "It was a very tense night. There was a rumor that caused much agitation. After I realized that it wasn't true, I told the residents that the agreement wasn't broken." He claimed he did not reveal any details about army operations.
A few days prior to the violent raid, talks were held between settlement leaders, rightist MKs and the Defense Ministry. The sides tried to agree upon a willful evacuation of the outposts located on private lands. That same night – the night of the raid at the Ephraim Spatial Brigade base
– settlers feared the agreement was broken and expected Israeli authorities to destroy the outpost.
"I'm usually in touch with the settlement leaders, but once in a while private citizens get in touch with me," explained Elkin. "This rumor sparked a fire and because I'm against clashes it was supposed to calm the situation on the ground. It's not about revealing details on army operations. There was an agreement not to forcefully clear out Ramat Gilad, and there was a rumor, which turned out to be untrue, that they're going to violate the agreement. So it was my duty to confute this false suspicion."
"I'll continue to act as I acted that night in any chance I get to pacify the situation… It is the duty of public leaders to try and calm the situation on the ground," Elkin noted.
Aviad Glickman contributed to this report