Israel’s extreme far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, announced yesterday that his department is in the process of purchasing 10,000 rifles to equip civilian “security teams” based around Israel’s borders and the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Ben-Gvir stated that 4,000 assault rifles have already been secured from an Israeli manufacturer and will be immediately distributed, reported the Times of Israel.
In addition to the assault rifles, helmets and bulletproof vests have also been obtained and will be distributed.
“We will turn the world upside down so that towns are protected. I have given instructions for massively arming the civilian security teams to provide solutions for towns and cities, and so as not to leave towns unprotected,” said Ben-Gvir.
Moreover, an accelerated handgun licensing process requiring only telephone interviews instead of direct visits to the ministry’s offices is being authorised to enable Israeli civilians to receive firearms for the purpose of fulfilling guard duty.
According to Israel National News, retired Israeli military captain Shimon Lavi will be responsible for supervising the initiative aimed at equipping and enlisting Israeli civilians and settlers.
Additionally, the Israeli police have been instructed to maximise the distribution of firearms among police volunteers and to support local authorities by filling any ammunition shortages in civilian armouries.
At least 20 Palestinians, including four children, have been killed by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank since Saturday. Another 295 have been injured.