Gun permits, armed citizens spotlighted for role in breaking terrorism wave

In a stabbing attack on Thursday, the attacker was shot and killed by an armed passenger, highlighting a quiet but steady trend of security offered by the firearm-carrying citizenry.

 Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The role of gun permits and armed citizens has been highlighted by politicians and leaders as a force multiplier on Wednesday and Thursday to counter the rising wave of terrorism in Israel.

A stabbing attack on a bus near the Neve Daniel junction was thwarted by an armed passenger on Thursday. 

"We bought a gun today because of the situation. We put the bullets in the cartridge while driving, and then there was the attack," an eyewitness told Israel Hayom's Hanan Greenwood. 

The attack by a screwdriver-wielding terrorist lasted seconds — Greenwood reported that two other armed citizens didn't have time to respond, but the third did.

In response to the successful neutralization of the attacker after he had stabbed and critically injured one passenger, Israeli political leaders extolled the force multiplication of the security network offered by the firearm-carrying citizenry. 

 Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

"I salute the armed citizen who killed the terrorist in a bus stabbing in Gush Etzion and saved lives. Israel is under attack, this is the only way to neutralize terrorists as quickly as possible and save lives," Likud MK Nir Barkat said. "I call on the government to adopt the bill I submitted and to allow the IDF combat reservists to obtain a weapons license to fight terrorism."

"To our residents who hold gun permits – Arm yourselves, practice, and take your weapon everywhere," Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne'eman said in a press statement on the bus attack. "Our enemies are trying to harm our brothers and sisters, and must be dealt with stealthily in every location."

On Wednesday, followng the deadly Bnei Brak shooting that claimed the lives of 5 people, including a police officer who had rushed to the scene to neutralize the terrorist, Naftali Bennett advocated for citizens to arm themselves in an address. 

"Be alert. Whoever has a weapons license, this is the time to carry it," said Bennett.

Bennett also said that soldiers with basic levels of combat training would be taking their weapons home with them on weekends.

The joint operation by Israeli security forces to stem the rising tide of terrorist attacks was dubbed 'Wave Breaker' on Thursday. 

11 Israelis have been killed in terrorist attacks over the last two weeks. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned on Wednesday that Israel was entering into a new wave of terrorism.