Firearms used by pre-state Zionist militia stolen from museum

Guns dating back to the 1940s were taken from display cases.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Israeli police are investigating the theft of 20 firearms dating back to the 1940s that were stolen from display cases at a museum on Kibbutz Mishmar HaSharon on Friday night.

The decommissioned weapons had belonged to the Haganah, the main Zionist paramilitary group in Israel’s pre-state years. According to Hebrew reports, the stolen guns were no longer capable of firing live ammunition.

During the 1940s, the weapons had been hidden beneath a barn on the kibbutz along with several mortars and communications equipment. British authorities intensively searched the kibbutz but never found the cache.

The kibbutz is located in central Israel near Netanya.

The building has been renovated and declared a national heritage site where visitors can learn more about the Jewish underground of the 1940s.

“We view the break-in to the Haganah secret cache, which is a heritage site containing historical items of great importance, very gravely,” the Hefer Valley Regional Council said in a statement.

“We are sure that every effort will be made by the police to find the weapons and return them to the secret cache, and bring the burglars to justice,” the local authority added.