Israel police have arrested eight teenage immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who are suspected of running a neo-Nazi ring and attacking minorities, a police spokeswoman confirmed Sunday morning.
The eight were arrested one month ago, after an investigation lasting one year, but a gag order on the affair was lifted only on Saturday night.
None of the gang are Jewish according to strict religious definition - which states that a Jewis one born of a Jewish mother -but all but one had received Israeli citizenship under Israel's so-called "Law of Return", under which it is sufficient to be the grandchild of a Jew in order to become an citizen.
Police chief Superintendent Revital Alomg told Israel Radio Sunday morning thatalthough the suspects denied they espoused neo-Nazi ideology,evidence found on their person and in their homes indicated otherwise.
The gang,from the central city of Petah Tikva, east of Tel Aviv, allegedly assaulted religious Jews,gays, foreign workers and drug addicts.
In one instance, they reportedly forced a drug addict from the former Soviet Union to beg forgivness for being a addict and for being Jewish.
The gang also made video files of their attacks. One, released by the police and reminiscent of a scene in the 1971 movie, A Clockwork Orange, showed them kicking a man lying on the ground, to the accompaniment of music. The video also showed them giving the Nazi salute.
Police, who described the affair as "complex and sensitive",said the gang was uncovered during an investigation into two 2006 incidents in Petah Tikva, in which synagogues were desecrated with swastikas and anti-Semitic grafitti.
In June 2007 police received information which directed them to two of the suspects, who denied the allegations.
But a search of the suspects homes revealed Nazi materials, including journals with swastikas, web sites with Nazi content, and neo-Nazi movies.
Police also found pictures on the suspects cell phones, in which they were seen giving the Nazi salute, and holding a torn Israeli flag.
The suspects are expected to be indicted shortly, Israeli media reported Sunday.
Last Mod: 09 Eylül 2007, 17:18