70% of shooting attacks in Israel used stolen IDF weapons

Some 464 of 675 shooting incidents reported throughout 2021 in the country used stolen military-grade weaponry.

An IDF weapons cache (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
An IDF weapons cache
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)

70% of all shooting incidents in Israel over the past 12 months were carried out with stolen IDF weaponry, Walla news reported on Sunday.

Some 675 shooting incidents were reported throughout 2021 in the country, according to an official IDF statistics report. Out of those 675, a staggering 464 used stolen, military-grade weapons.

In a 2011 report, the number of shooting incidents carried out by IDF weapons stood at 65%, meaning a 5% rise was recorded within the last decade.

The report also notes that most of those stolen IDF weapons were initially smuggled through Israel's borders with Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan. 

"While the Egyptian and Lebanese borders are harder to smuggle weapons or drugs through, the Jordanian border is basically just barbed wire," a defense establishment source told Walla.

A protest against the rising crime and violence in the Arab sector in Israel, Jaffa, Saturday, February 6, 2021. (credit: SASSONI AVSHALOM)A protest against the rising crime and violence in the Arab sector in Israel, Jaffa, Saturday, February 6, 2021. (credit: SASSONI AVSHALOM)

Some in Israel suggest the army's incompetence in guarding its arsenal correlates with the rising number of deaths and violent clashes in Israel's Arab sector.

More than 100 Israeli-Arabs have died since the beginning of 2021 in crime-related incidents. Early in December, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel is "moving from defense to offense" in the way it combats crime in the Arab sector.

The long-term issue of Arab-Israeli violence is a greater threat to the State of Israel than Hamas and Hezbollah, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar told The Jerusalem Post in October.

In 2017, there were an estimated 267,000 illegal weapons in Israel. By 2020, that number nearly doubled, with a Knesset estimate reporting some 400,000 illegal weapons circulating around the country.

The IDF has also seen a record amount of explosives stolen from its bases in a year where the number of explosive devices used in organized crime violence rose to 22%.

In the past, explosive devices used in the streets typically contained between 500g. to 1kg. of military-grade explosives. In 2021, they contained more than 1.5kg., sometimes even reaching 2.5kg. of IDF explosives.