IDF soldier and partner indicted for smuggling illegal Palestinian immigrants

The couple allegedly transported illegal Palestinian immigrants on approximately thirty occasions, driving them from the Beit Horon gas station on Route 443 through the Maccabim crossing into central Israel.

The Israeli police prosecution unit has filed an indictment against two young Israelis for smuggling illegal Palestinian immigrants into Israel. The charges were submitted Tuesday to the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court.

The accused are a 21-year-old man from Karnei Shomron and his 19-year-old partner, a female soldier from Ramle currently in regular service. According to the indictment, the smuggling operations occurred over the past few months, with the female soldier sometimes wearing her IDF uniform during these activities.

The case takes on added significance given that it continued after the declaration of a state of emergency following the onset of Operation Iron Swords, during which a blockade was imposed on the West Bank.

The indictment reveals that the female soldier, who worked as a waitress at a restaurant in Rishon Lezion alongside her military service, initially became acquainted with an illegal Palestinian immigrant employed at the same establishment. This connection eventually led to her involvement in the smuggling operation.

The couple allegedly transported illegal Palestinian immigrants on approximately thirty occasions, driving them from the Beit Horon gas station on Route 443 through the Maccabim crossing into central Israel. The soldier’s partner would reportedly attempt to conceal the passengers at checkpoints.

The Palestinian restaurant worker, himself an illegal resident, acted as a mediator and organizer for the operation. The accused reportedly received between 200-300 NIS per immigrant smuggled.

Evidence presented includes correspondence between the soldier and her Palestinian contact, revealing a close relationship and discussions about operational timing around her military duties. In one instance, the soldier shared photos of security measures, including a yellow security gate and a warning sign about entering Palestinian villages, accompanied by a joking comment.