Photo Credit: IDF
Illegal sub-machine gun 'Karlo' confiscated in IDF raid, April 3, 2019

Since the beginning of the year, Israel’s Police have seized thousands of weapons in Arab communities, including more than 550 in the last month.

In almost 12 months, police have arrested about 5,200 suspects across the country for weapons offenses and shootings, more than 90% of them are from the Arab sector.


More than 1,450 indictments have been filed against firearms offenders in 2020, 132 of them in the last month.

Police activity against weapons and ammunition offense focuses on localities in the Arab sector and is carried “while investing enormous forces, technology and efforts,” the police said.

In November, about 100 firearms of various types were seized by the police in Arab cities and towns, along with dozens of grenades, parts of weapons, cartridges, explosives and ammunition.

“Most of the fight against illegal weapons is based on quality police intelligence and significant activity carried out on the covert level,” the police stated Sunday.

The illegal weapons “are often used by criminals, gangs and criminal organizations, mainly in conflicts and the settling of local accounts, but not only. These weapons are also used for terrorist activities, serious crimes and incidents of severe violence,” the police added.

On Sunday night, the police arrested a father and son in the Shuafat neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem on suspicion of possessing three pipe bombs and components for making explosive charges

The suspects, the son aged 16 and his father in his 50s, were arrested for questioning, and the police will ask for an extension of their detention in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court later in the day.

Criminal violence this weekend in the Arab sector in Israel resulted in the death of two men, the 100th and 101st Arab Israelis to be murdered in 2020.

11 members of the Arab sector were killed in criminal violence in the past month, six in the past three days.

Ahmed Akri. 29, was killed in a gunfight between two feuding families in the town of Kaboul in the north.

Yousef Abu Satah, 25, was killed in a similar incident in the Bedouin city of Rahat in the south.

11 members of the Arab sector were killed in criminal violence in the past month, six in the past three days.

In total, 89 Arabs were murdered in Israel throughout the entirety of 2019.

The Knesset’s Research and Information Center presented a study in June showing that police carried out 51,128 criminal arrests in 2019, of which about 39% of those arrested were Jews and 61% were non-Jews. Israeli Arabs represent about 20% of the general population.

Between 2015 and 2019, 80% of those suspected of committing firearm-related crimes in Israel were non-Jews.

The homicide rate in the Arab community in Israel increased by 60% from 2016 to 2019, and in 2018, the murder rate among Arabs in Israel was more than eight times the rate among Jewish Israelis, a new study published by the Baladna Association for Arab Youth shows.

In total, 575 homicides were reported over the course of the past nine years.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.