update deskIsrael at War

Anti-tank missile seized in arrest of arms dealer

Grenades and ammunition were also found with the suspect from eastern Jerusalem, who was caught in the Galilee.

The MATADOR anti-tank missile and its shoulder-mounted launcher found in the vehicle of a suspected weapons smuggler in northern Israel, Feb. 16, 2024. Credit: Israel Police.
The MATADOR anti-tank missile and its shoulder-mounted launcher found in the vehicle of a suspected weapons smuggler in northern Israel, Feb. 16, 2024. Credit: Israel Police.

Israeli police confiscated an anti-tank missile and its shoulder-mounted launcher, nearly a dozen grenades, and over a thousand rounds of machine gun ammunition during the arrest of an arms smuggler on Friday night.

The 24-year-old resident of eastern Jerusalem was nabbed during an operation against weapons dealers in the Galilee, according to police.

Officers stopped a vehicle that the suspect was driving near the Karmiel Junction and the weapons were discovered inside. A bomb disposal unit was called to the scene. The driver was taken in for questioning.

“The [Israel Police] Northern District is working with determination to locate and thwart any attempt to traffic in weapons that endanger the security of the citizens of Israel,” the police said in the statement.

“This activity is in addition to the many operations of the North District against terrorist activity and criminal activity by means of combat, thwarting criminal elements and filing charges against those involved,” the statement concluded.

The MATADOR (man-portable, anti-tank, anti-door) shoulder-fired disposable anti-armor and anti-brickwall system was jointly developed by Israel, Germany and Singapore and has been used by Israeli forces in the current war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, an Arab from Shuafat, in northeastern Jerusalem, murdered two Israelis and wounded four others in a shooting at a bus stop at the Re’em Masmiya Junction, near Kiryat Malachi in the northern Negev.

Yishai Gartner, 23, a yeshiva student from Modi’in Illit, a Jewish city of 80,000 mostly haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, was killed along with Staff Sgt. Uri Yaish, 27, from Modi’in.

The four other victims moderately to seriously wounded include a 16-year-old boy admitted to the hospital in critical condition with head and limb injuries. He is hospitalized under anesthesia and ventilated in the intensive care unit.

An IDF reservist shot and killed the terrorist.

“I was on the other side of the road, I saw him shooting and I ran with a gun drawn,” he said. “I charged at him, first I shot from a distance and then I reduced the distance to him. I advanced towards him while I was shooting, then I reached him and made sure he was neutralized.”

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) identified the terrorist as 37-year-old Fadi Jamjoum, a Muslim cleric (sheikh) who holds Israeli residency. He was reportedly a disciple of Sheikh Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, also from Shuafat, who murdered South African immigrant to Israel Eliyahu David Kay in a shooting attack in Jerusalem’s Old City in November 2021.

Islamic Jihad praised the attack in a statement, welcoming “the guerrilla operation in the occupied city of Ashdod.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I send heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were murdered in the terrorist attack and am praying for the wounded.

“This attack reminds us that the entire country is on the frontline and that the murderers, who come not only from Gaza, want to kill us all,” he continued. “We will continue to fight until total victory, with all our might, on every front, everywhere, until we restore the security and quiet for all citizens of Israel.”

Yaish was eulogized by his cousin, the Israeli singer Noa Kirel, who said “the tragic situation has reached me as well. The sadness and pain don’t cease. We will remember him forever.”

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