Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in December arrested four
Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs who stole assault rifles from a settlement
and an IDF base, police announced on Tuesday after a gag order on the case was
In both incidents, the cell stole M-16 assault rifles, after
carrying out surveillance on their targets for several weeks.
case, members of the cell infiltrated the IDF’s Ramah Base, north of Jerusalem,
and beat and robbed a soldier of his M-16, and in another they stole a rifle
from a guard post at the Ma’aleh Michmash settlement, northeast of
Both Ramah and Ma’aleh Michmash are in the Binyamin Region of
the West Bank.
Judea and Samaria Police said the cell made the
acquaintance of the guards at Ma’aleh Michmash who were two Israeli Arabs from
the Galilee in their 30s, who gave them intelligence that helped them locate and
steal the weapons from the guard post.
The two guards were also arrested
and remain in custody, police said on Tuesday.
In a press release, police
referred to the group as “a sophisticated and aggressive cell that did not show
hesitation, that infiltrated an IDF base and robbed an IDF soldier of his weapon
while using serious violence against him.”
Police said that all of the
suspects have confessed to their involvement in the thefts, and that they would
remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings against them.
asked if police know if the weapons were to be used for terrorist attacks,
criminal purposes or to be sold on the market – where an M-16 can fetch more
than NIS 60,000 – police said they still have not determined exactly what the
cell planned to do with the weapons.