(April 23, 2018 / JNS) Israeli police said on Sunday that they would renew efforts to crack down on illegal weapons after a video of a Bedouin wedding party shooting automatic weapons into the air caused outrage in Israel.
Police have identified and arrested several people seen in the video shooting M-16 assault rifles from their cars in Israel’s south. The groom was among those detained, according to a police statement.
The ownership of firearms is strictly regulated in Israel, with most Israelis ineligible to possess them. Those who do pass background checks and qualify for personal weaponry are typically restricted to one personal defense weapon, usually a pistol. Weapons more advanced than handguns are reserved for law enforcement and army personnel.
Police said they seized “unprecedented” numbers of illegal weapons in 2017, “especially in Arab communities.”
Southern Israel has encountered many incidents of lawlessness from members of the Bedouin community, with Israel Defense Forces’ bases and farms in the Negev fighting a trend of theft by Bedouins who live nearby.
On Sunday, police announced that two Bedouin Israelis were arrested in March for selling guns stolen from army bases to a Palestinian black-market weapons dealer.