The Illegal Weapons Law passed its second and third readings in the Knesset on Tuesday, aimed at giving police increased powers to combat gun crime in the Arab sector, according to the bill’s explanation.
It passed 20-6 with bipartisan support. National Security Minister and Otzma Yehudit head Itamar Ben-Gvir said that it is “a real revolution in the war for accountability and personal security, it will allow us to fight the seriousness of dozens of illegal weapons in the Arab sector and help forces investigating murder and other serious crimes in the sector.”
Otzma Yehudit MK Yitzhak Kreuzer, who submitted the bill, thanked fellow party member Zvika Fogel for his help in passing the law, saying it would give Israel Police effective tools against illegal weapons.
“I am hopeful that we will be able to reduce the number of casualties among innocent citizens, women and children from Arab society, and the Israeli population in general,” said Kreuzer.
Police can search houses without judge's order
Ben-Gvir attacked Hadash-Ta’al MKs Ahmad Tibi, Ayman Odeh and Ofer Cassif for their votes against the bill.
“Remember this the next time they blame the police or the State of Israel for the problem of illegal weapons in the Arab sector,” Ben-Gvir wrote on Twitter. “The leaders of the Arab public in the Knesset do not want to fight crime in the Arab sector.”
For the duration of one year, the bill provides police officers the ability to search houses suspected of containing illegal weapons without a judge’s order or approval of a police superintendent.
The punishment for those caught with illegal firearms would result in a maximum prison sentence of five years. The punishment could not be less than 2.5 years.
The police are required to report the National Security Committee and attorney-general about the law’s use three times a year.