This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Illustration,  IDF Spokesman
IDF Spokesman

The theft of weapons from citizens, institutions and IDF camps has reached record proportions according to sources familiar with the subject. Israel sometimes gives the appearance of being a warehouse for obtaining illegal weapons. The break-in to a police facility in the north of the country is an example of the increasing number of weapons thefts that has hit Israel like a wave.  The number of weapons held by criminals has increased by substantial percentages.

Among the recent thefts was the systematic theft of stolen gun parts from a shooting range in Tel-Aviv, tools taken from a military arms factory in Ramat Hasharon, as well as guns stolen from a shooting range in Netanya. This is just a sampling of recent cases indicating signs of growing lawlessness involving weapons thefts in Israel.

On the one hand the Ministry of Interior does not allow law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses for weapons for purposes of self-defense. On the other hand gun controls in Israel are among the worst in the world.

According to police estimates today there are about 400 thousand illegal weapons held by people from both the Arab and Jewish sectors. This number is remarkable, given that the number of weapons held under license is only about 280 thousand.

This represents a huge number of weapons stolen. It is no wonder that weapons have come to play an increasing role in criminal acts resulting in casualties involving innocent civilians as well as criminal elements.

If you care to add to that the unbearable lightness of thefts involving IDF weapons we have a huge problem. The ease with which the police facility was entered in the north was no surprise to the Israeli arms industry. They can cite examples about police arsenals where basic security measures aren’t taken to prevent firearm theft from locked cabinets bearing locks that can be opened with an office paper clip, not to mention weapons kept in unlocked drawers.

Some IDF camps in Israel were previously known as centers for weapons theft. However arms industry experts maintain that even today one can load up a truck with guns on one of these bases and get out without anyone noticing.

Arie Egozi i-HLS Editor-in-Chief
Arie Egozi
i-HLS Editor-in-Chief