Police seize over 330 guns in Arab sector since beginning of 2021

“Locating and seizing the illegal weapons found in Arab communities is a top priority task for the Northern District,” the police state Sunday.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Police forces continued to fight the raging crime wave in the Arab sector, conducting arrests and seizing illegal weapons.

Officers operating in the Arab village of Majd al-Krum in the north over the weekend exposed caches of weapons hidden on the roofs of businesses and confiscated a Glock handgun, a pipe bomb, cartridges and ammunition.

Earlier last week, during a search in the village of Tuba, police exposed an assault rifle and arrested a suspect on the spot.

In a search conducted in the village of Shibli, a Carlo submachine gun and a cartridge were seized.

Since the beginning of the year, during a period of about five months, the police’s Northern District has exposed and collected hundreds of illegal weapons, including 337 rifles and handguns, 178 grenades, 53 explosive charges, 399 Molotov cocktails, 398 fireworks launchers that are used as weapons, and 128 Airsoft rifles, some converted for use with live ammunition.

These numbers do not include perpetrators and weapons seized in the Jerusalem and Southern Districts.

Since the beginning of the year, 216 indictments and requests for detention have been filed against 216 suspects in the Northern District for weapons offenses.

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“Locating and seizing the illegal weapons found in Arab communities is a top priority task for the Northern District,” the police state Sunday.

The police have stated that the illegal weapons are usually used by criminals, gangs, and rival families and tribes, mainly in conflicts and for the settling of local accounts.

However, these weapons are also used for terrorist activities, serious crimes, and incidents of severe violence, the police underscored.

Arab-Israeli society is plagued with daily incidents of violence. Over 110 Arabs were killed in criminal violence in 2020 and at least 60 so far in 2021.

On Friday night, a 65 year-old-man was shot dead in the Druze village of Abatin, and his 60-year-old sister died shortly after. Their 44-year-old sister was shot and moderately injured.

The police increased its activity against the plague of shootings and weapons offenses in recent years, and in 2020 arrested 5,713 suspects in shootings and other weapons crimes throughout the country, an increase of 22% compared to 2019.

The vast majority of police activity was carried out in the Arab sector, and about 90% of the suspects arrested for shooting and weapons offenses were Arab Israelis.

Approximately 85% of the indictments filed in Israel in 2020 for shooting, illegal possession of weapons, trafficking, and illegal use of weapons have been filed against suspects from the Arab sector.