Carl Gustav gun
Carl Gustav gunIDF Spokesperson

The IDF's Judea and Samaria Division closed an Arab event hall in the village of Azaria, near Jerusalem, Monday morning, after gunfire was reported from the hall during a wedding Sunday night, Ynet reported.

This marks the the first time that the IDF has begun to crack down on the phenomenon of Arabs firing off gunshots at celebrations in Judea and Samaria. Incidents of gunfire at events such as weddings are an entrenched Arab custom but have been occurring with increasing frequency.

The IDF says that acting against halls and other venues where gunfire occurs prevents damage and injuries from stray shots and facilitates the crackdown on illegal firearms.

Dozens of incidents of stray bullets fired during Palestinian Arab weddings have cause damage to homes and vehicles over the past year.

A senior official in the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division said that "By acting in advance to prevent gunfire, we reduce the impact of illegal weapons, reduce the potential for lethal disaster and demonstrate better governance."

The official also said that stray bullets from these Arab celebrations have struck homes in the city of Maaleh Adumim and surrounding villages.

"In these events, guests are firing bursts of bullets in a very dangerous manner. We don't want to get to a point where we have to cancel weddings of young people before they happen, and as such, we are deciding to approach this matter legally and work with these event halls in order to prevent mishaps."

The IDF hopes that by giving warnings to event hall owners to stop this phenomenon they will be able to stop the gunfire at celebratory events and also avoid raids that could lead to casualties.