IDF, Israel Police foil NIS 3 million weapons smuggling

Four illegal arms dealers from east Jerusalem were caught with 53 illegal weapons in their possession.

The stolen weapons captured by IDF and Israel Police forces (ISRAEL POLICE)

An attempted smuggling of weapons worth up to NIS 3 million has been foiled by IDF and Israel Police forces near Beit She’an on Tuesday.

Four illegal arms dealers from east Jerusalem were caught by Israel Police officers and the IDF soldiers with 53 illegal weapons in their possession.

The 53 weapons included 39 pistols, 10 AK-47 assault rifles and four M-16 rifles.

The four suspects, three men and a woman in their 40s, attempted to escape in three different cars but were all captured following a car chase by police.

The capture represents a significant step in Israel Police's attempts to put a stop to the continuing violence plaguing  the Arab sector in Israel. Stolen IDF weapons are the main weapons used in shooting incidents in the last year.

In 2021, 464 out of 675 shooting incidents were carried out with stolen weaponry.

 The stolen weapons captured by IDF and Israel Police on January 25, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE) The stolen weapons captured by IDF and Israel Police on January 25, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

According to GunPolicy.org, 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.

In December, security personnel thwarted an attempt to steal weapons from the IDF's Keren base in the Golan Heights. A month prior, IDF forces captured a suspect attempting to smuggle 15 weapons from Jordan into Israel.