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Mob Now Has Military-Grade Weapons, Police Warn

Poor security at military bases means criminals get their hands on nearly 1,000 IDF grenades a year, and more, police say.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/25/2014, 5:51 PM

Hidden weapons cache
Hidden weapons cache
Flash90

The ongoing battles between various crime gangs in Israel made the news again Tuesday with a grenade attack in the Petach Tikva market which injured five people.

According to police sources who spoke to Walla! news, the latest attack is yet more proof of a worrying phenomenon: the ease with which Israeli gangs are getting their hands on IDF weapons, including military-grade explosives.

Over the past two years police have confiscated a long list of IDF weapons from criminals, Walla! reports, including 350 grenades, nearly 1,000 stun grenades, 500 rifle grenades, 50 kilograms of explosives, 104 bricks of explosives, dozens of triggers, and hundreds of meters of wire used in detonating bombs.

In addition, police sources said they have found dozens of other weapons, including M4 and Tavor rifles and Glock handguns.

The military-grade explosives now in the hands of the mob are far more effective, and dangerous, than the makeshift bombs used in the past, they warned. According to the report, police stated that there is “almost no obstacle” to the flow of weapons from the IDF to criminal hands.

Police blamed poor security at IDF bases, which they said allows soldiers who are desperate for money – or those who have ties to crime – to give in to the temptation to steal weapons from storage and sell them on the black market.

They expressed despair at their own chances of stopping the flow of weapons, arguing that even if every major police station in the country assigned a handful of undercover agents to stop illegal weapons sales, they would barely make a dent in crime gangs’ weapons storepiles.

An IDF spokesperson responded to the accusations, telling Walla! that in recent years, the army has increased security in order to prevent the theft of weapons from military bases or from soldiers’ homes. “These measures have proven successful, and in recent years there has been a dramatic reduction in the theft of IDF weapons and ammunition,” they stated.