The Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday that it foiled a significant weapons trafficking operation in the Dead Sea region last month.

On May 22, IDF observers detected two suspects approaching the border in the Dead Sea area, the IDF said in a statement. Israeli security forces arrested the suspects, and following a sweep of the area seized a bag containing three M-16 rifles, four handguns and ammunition.

The suspects, Israeli Bedouin residents of the Negev region near Dimona, were questioned by the Israel Police and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), on suspicion that the weapons’ intended recipients were terrorist elements.

The investigation led to the subsequent arrest of two further suspects, who allegedly led the smuggling activities, according to the IDF.

Southern District state prosecutors are due to formally charge all of the suspects in the coming days.

“The IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police take a severe view of any involvement by Israeli citizens in the smuggling of weapons into Israel, thereby endangering the security of the state and its residents,” the military said.


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