On Thursday, 16 people suspected of gun violence were arrested in a police raid on compounds in the northern town of Daburiya.
The forces, which included riot police and Border Police officers, detectives and canine operators, also confiscated a Kalashnikov rifle, magazines, ammunition and scopes.
Since the beginning of the year, some 500 weapons have been seized in the northern region alone. These included 100 rifles, 177 pistols, 186 hand grenades, 22 explosives and 13 C-4 demolition blocks, according to the police.
Codenamed “Safe Track,” the country-wide campaign, which began on October 21, was initially planned to last for six months but was eventually expanded to a full year.
According to data released on April 14, there have been operations conducted against 585 crime figures since the operation began, approximately 80% of the total number of suspects the Israel Police has identified.
Some 417 were arrested, of whom 288 were indicted, while 196 will remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings, effectively taking them off the streets.
Police conducted more than 430 searches for weapons and drugs, and seized some NIS 210 million in the form of luxury cars, cash, bank accounts and other possessions.
Some 27 financial services (usually currency exchange shops used for money laundering) were investigated in 16 different locales, including Kiryat Shmona, Karmiel, Nof Hagalil, Acre, Haifa and Jerusalem.
“Operation Safe Track has achieved a number of goals it set for itself at the beginning of the campaign about a half-year ago,” said Cmdr. Dror Asraf, head of the Israel Police Special Operations Department.
The Arab-Israeli population is responding positively to the police’s efforts and is cooperating impressively, Asraf added.
“Due to the achievement of these goals, there has been a decrease in crimes that significantly disturbed the Arab street, such as shootings, murders, criminal activity such as reckless driving, blackmailing and granting loans on the gray market,” he said.
"We are identifying a blessed change at street level in the Arab population’s attitude toward the police in general, and to the understanding that the operation comes from the Israel Police’s desire to serve the Arab-Israeli public.”