The IDF (Zahal) has been bolstering its counter-terror strategy with an increase of weapons seizures and the shutdown of weapon manufacturing facilities; 27 weapon manufacturing machines and over 235 guns have been seized. This week alone, security forces seized 6 machines used to build guns in Nablus and Ramallah. On July 31, IDF (Zahal) and Israeli security forces also arrested a major illegal weapons dealer and Palestinian security official, Mahayub Borhan Rashad Knaza. Here are a few of the measures we’ve taken to put an end to lone wolf attacks and crack down on the illegal weapons industry in Judea and Samaria:
Shutting Down Weapons Manufacturing Facilities
Since the beginning of 2016, the IDF (Zahal) and Israeli security forces have seized 27 weapon manufacturing facilities in Judea and Samaria. 7 of these machines have been found in Nablus, where earlier this week a major weapons dealer was arrested. Hidden throughout Judea and Samaria, these illegal facilities are producing weapons intended to be used in attacks against Israelis.
Shutting Down Explosives Labs
Beyond improvised guns, some of these facilities are explosives labs where pipe bombs and other homemade bombs are put together, and then distributed to terrorists. On January 25, twin sisters were arrested for holding pipe bombs that they admitted were intended to be used in terror attacks against Israelis. On December 23, our forces discovered a Hamas explosives lab in Abu Dis with materials often used in making suicide vests. More recently, a man was arrested for attempting to plant explosives on the Jerusalem light rail. These seizures are preventing lethal weapons from falling into hands of terrorists and being used in attacks against Israelis.
Taking Guns off the Street
Since January 2016, over 235 illegal guns have been seized in Judea and Samaria. Some of these guns were used in shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers alike. Others were seized in security operations geared towards preventing further attacks and shootings. Removing these guns from the streets of many Palestinian villages and cities is mitigating Israeli casualties and helping stop terror at its source. Improvised guns can cost approximately as low as $750 dollars to as high as $3,800.
Preventing Smuggling Attempts and Dismantling Terror Cells
On July 19, a joint security operation prevented a large scale smuggling attempt. 5 M-16 assault rifles and 20 handguns were seized. In addition, security forces have prevented the smuggling of funds being into Judea and Samaria to establish or support terror cells in the area. Most notably were two instances: January 20, when a Hezbollah supported terror cell was uncovered and dismantled in Tulkarem. The second, occurred on July 5 when security forces prevented Hamas from smuggling funds into Judea Samaria in aims of establishing terror cells. Most recently, on August 1 security forces intercepted terror funds destined for Hamas terror cell in the Binyamin Region.