Watch: Police Seize Stolen IDF Weapons

Border police arrest of suspects - including an IDF soldier - reveals high demand in Israeli criminal underworld for Israeli Tavor rifle.

Orli Harari ,

Border police arrest (file)
Border police arrest (file)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

A special Israeli Border Police unit seized two stolen IDF weapons in southern Israel Monday, just moments before they were due to be passed on into the wrong hands.

The nighttime operation was caught on camera, and resulted in the arrest of four suspects on suspicion of possessing illegal weapons and arms trafficking.

Following concrete intelligence, Border Police first swooped on the vehicle in the Bedouin settlement region in the Negev, and arrested two of the suspects: an IDF soldier and resident of the Bedouin town of Hura, and another Bedouin male in his twenties from the town of Rahat.

As can be seen from the video, in their initial inspection of the car police immediately discovered an IDF-issue Micro-Tavor assault rifle. Police inquiries quickly revealed that the weapon was stolen just one week previously from the Tze'elim base in the Negev.

Under interrogation the suspects revealed that they had stolen and sold on a second weapon to another resident of Rahat. Border Police tracked down that suspect as well, arresting him along with another man at his home, and in the process discovered the second weapon: another Tavor rifle.

Ashkelon's Magistrate Court extended the remand of all four suspects for an additional nine days pending charges.

Superintendent Reuven Nawi, the Investigations and Intelligence Office of the unit which carried out the operation, said that the suspects intended to sell the weapons for a "considerable sum of money" - in the tens of thousands of shekels - to criminal gangs.

Indeed, an investigation by the Hebrew-language Walla! news site revealed that Micro-Tavors - the new, Israeli-made assault rifle that is gradually replacing the IDF's old American-made M-16s - is a much sought-after commodity in the Israeli criminal underworld, with a street price of around 55,000 shekels (more than $14,600).

The two stolen weapons Police Spokesperson's Unit