Police seize 180 illegal firearms from Arab towns (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Eli Ashkenazi 03/27/12)
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Police have confiscated 180 illegal firearms and more than 50 hand
grenades from residents of Arab towns in the north since the
beginning of this year, as part of a campaign aimed at reducing crime
and accidental deaths, police said on Monday.
"The use or possession of illegal firearms is a cancer spreading
through our society," Michael Shafshek, commander of the Northern
District central unit, said at a news briefing on
Monday. "Confiscating firearms has become a leading objective for us."
Shafshek said a campaign begun last year, when police confiscated
some 900 illegal rifles, pistols and hand grenades, are
typically "used by criminals to deal with business or family
disputes, and they are used to intimidate."
Police also cited the role of guns in accidental deaths in Arab
communities, saying illegal firearms are often fired at weddings and
other festive events, a practice some Arab leaders have attempted to
"The use of such weapons has often caused injury to human life or
property," a Northern District officer said, citing a wedding several
months ago in the Western Galilee town of Majdal Krum at which the
groom´s brother was killed by celebratory gunfire. Several suspects
were arrested and are being prosecuted.
Police officers in the north said that in past years, increasing
numbers of illegal firearms have been hoarded by local residents.
Police data indicate that in the past year, there were 557 uses of
Police officers acknowledge, however, that there are still thousands
of illegal firearms in the country, particularly in Arab villages and
They said some of the weapons have been stolen from private
residences or army depots. Others are manufactured independently or
smuggled in from the West Bank. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 03/27/12)
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