Israeli police say that they have broken up a homophobic neo-Nazi gang who have allegedly attacked gays, the homeless, foreigners and orthodox Jews.
Seven of the eight strong gang were former Soviet Union born suspects aged between 16 and 21 who became Israeli citizens through the country’s “right of return”.
None are considered to be Jews by religious authorities but qualified as Israeli citizens by claiming they had at least one Jewish grandparent.
The gang was arrested a month ago but police have today said searches of their homes found Nazi uniform and regalia, portraits of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, knives guns and explosives.
The gang allegedly filmed their attacks and Israeli police have released videos of violent attacks.
Charged in court today, some of the youths denied the allegations and claimed that their Nazi tatoos “meant nothing.”
Police discovered the gang following the desecration of two synagogues in Petah Tikva over a year ago.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert viewed footage of the attacks on the homeless, orthodox Jews and gays with fellow ministers in a Cabinet meeting called the attacks which have been compared to Clockwork Orange “violence for the sake of violence.”
“I am sure that there is not a person in Israel who can remain indifferent to these scenes, which indicate that we too as a society have failed in the education of these youths,” he added.
Revital Almog who led the police investigation said: “it is difficult to believe that Nazi ideology sympathisers can exist in Israel, but it is a fact.”