Creating new perspectives since 2009

Report: Weapons given to Israel settlers were sold to Palestinian Resistance fighters

February 22, 2024 at 7:38 pm

Israeli settlers carrying assault rifles gather in the occupied West Bank, on July 1, 2021 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

A large portion of the weapons given to Israeli settlers in the Occupied West Bank were sold to Palestinian Resistance fighters who used them in recent attacks inside Israel, the Hebrew newspaper, Israel Hayom, reported on Thursday.

The paper said senior Israeli police officers do not hide their concern, where many Israelis do not keep their weapons in accordance with protocol and they end up in the hands of criminals who, because of greed for money, sell them to Palestinian Resistance fighters.

According to the newspaper, Commander Shmuel Sharvit of the intelligence department has warned that “illegal weapons among criminals may reach Palestinian cells”.

“It is crazy that crime families invest so much money in order to steal weapons that Israelis place under their pillows,” he added.

The paper explained after 7 October, the police have tightened their grip on everything related to weapons control inside the Palestinian community in Israel, with the aim of finding illegal weapons stolen from the Israeli army’s combat zones in the south and north and from soldiers, noting that a large portion of the weapons had been stolen from Israelis who were negligent in guarding their personal weapons.

“The market is full of weapons … Most of the illegal weapons are seized by criminal elements, but we are beginning to see indications that they are flowing to Palestinian elements as well,” Sharvit added.

According to sources in the Israeli police, a total of 1,044 weapons of various types have been seized since 7 October, including 822 pieces in the Arab community, referring to the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The police sources said: “In the wake of the widespread arming of Israelis and their negligent possession, even private homes have become an attractive target due to the easy access to them, because they do not keep their personal weapons as required in the procedure in a safe place, and in a closed house, in a hidden place.”

On Thursday morning, an Israeli army soldier was killed and eight others were injured, including a number of soldiers and settlers, two of them in critical condition, in a shooting attack near the Maale Adumim settlement, east of Occupied Jerusalem, during which Palestinian Resistance fighters used an M16 rifle which is used by the Israeli army.

The Maale Adumim operation comes days after another attack in the Kiryat Malachi settlement, which resulted in the killing of two Israeli settlers.

READ: Only long-term solution for Gaza is political: UN envoy